Ice cream parlour case: HC upset with Achuthanandan

Last Updated: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 15:59

Kochi: Coming down heavily on erstwhile VS Achuthanandan-led LDF government for allegedly engaging private lawyers at additional cost in the ice cream parlour sex scandal case, the Kerala High Court on Monday observed that a "poor state" like Kerala should avoid such practices.

"In a poor state like Kerala, it was not desirable to spend more money to engage lawyers to appear for state when Advocate General and 100 law officers are appointed by the state government," a division bench comprising Acting Chief
Justice CN Ramachandran Nair and Justice PS Gopinathan said during the proceedings.

The observations were made by the court while examining the allegations made by Kollakkadan Moosa Haji of Kozhikode claiming that Achuthanandan had obtained legal opinion from senior lawyers in Delhi in the ice cream parlour case, which
the petitioner said had caused expenditure of Rs 16 lakh from the state exchequer.

Achuthanandan had engaged private lawyers to "wreck vengeance" against his political opponents and no request had been made by the investigating officers of the home department for a legal opinion from private lawyers, the petitioner
alleged.

The case relates to allegations that surfaced in late 1990s that an ice cream parlour in Kozhikode was used as a cover for luring young women into sex racket.

IUML leader and current Industries Minister, PK Kunhalikutty, was embroiled in the icecream parlour case and quit as Industries minister in 2004 in connection with the
scandal.

Advocate General KP Dandapani said the policy of the present government, run by Congress-led UDF, was not to engage outside lawyers.

The petitioner also sought a direction to register a case against Achuthanandan for allegedly filing a false affidavit.

The petitioner contended that Achuthanandan had produced a confessional statement of KA Rauf (Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty`s relative), in a petition filed before the high court seeking CBI probe into the fresh disclosures against
Kunhalikutty, in the ice-cream parlour sex case.

Haji alleged that unauthorised copy of confessional statement was produced along with the writ petition and by doing so Achuthanandan had abused his powers as chief minister then and had illegally procured the confessional statement.

PTI



First Published: Monday, October 31, 2011 - 15:59

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