Jailed ex-minister Pillai released in Kerala

Kerala Congress (B) leader and former minister R Balakrishna Pillai, sentenced to jail for a year in a corruption case, was today freed under the remission granted by the state govt on the occasion of state-formation day.

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2011, 10:56 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Congress (B) leader
and former minister R Balakrishna Pillai, sentenced to jail
for a year in a corruption case, was today freed under the
remission granted by the state government on the occasion of
state-formation day.

The release orders were handed over by the Central Prison
officials here to 78-year-old Pillai at a private hospital in
the city where he had been shifted for treatment about three
months ago.

The Opposition LDF voiced strong reservation over the
decision alleging the guidelines of the remission order were
drawn up to help Pillai, whose Kerala Congress (B) is a
partner in the ruling Congress-led UDF.

Pillai`s son Ganesh Kumar is the Forest Minister in the
Oommen Chandy Government.

CPI(M) veteran V S Achuthanandan, who had pursued the case
against Pillai upto the Supreme Court, said the decision
amounted to showing disrespect to the apex court and a
challenge to the rule of law.

As per the Orders issued by the Home Department yesterday,
besides Pillai, 137 other prisoners would benefit from the
grant of remission.

Pillai was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by
the Supreme Court in a case of corruption in February this
year, pertaining to awarding of contract for a tunnel of the
Edamalayar hydropower project in 1990s when he was Power
Minister in the then UDF government.

Pillai ran into further trouble last month after he
responded to a call from a local TV channel to his phone in
violation of prison rules, following which authorities had
extended his jail term by four days as penalty.

Forest Minister Kumar was also in the eye of a political
storm recently by making lewd comments against Achuthanandan
at a public meeting in his Assembly seat Pathanapuram.

PTI