Special court issues arrest warrant against ex-minister

Kochi: Five days after the Supreme Court sentenced former Kerala minister R Balakrishnan Pillai to one-year imprisonment in a corruption case, the special court which tried the case, here today directed police to execute an arrest warrant against him before February 19.

The court gave the direction while rejecting a petition filed by Pillai seeking time for the execution of the arrest warrant on health grounds.

Reacting to the development, Pillai said he would surrender before the court on February 18.

"My plea has been rejected. I will surrender before the court on February 18. If the police wants to arrest me before that date I would co-operate with them," Pillai told media.

Pillai, leader of the Kerala Congress (B) and a former Electricity Minister in the Congress-led UDF Government, was awarded the punishment by the Apex Court alongwith a former Chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and a contractor.

The case related to corruption in awarding contract for construction of tunnel and surge shaft of the Edmalayar Hydro Electric Project in 1980s.

The prosecution case was that they entered into a conspiracy that caused a loss of Rs 2 crore to KSEB by awarding contracts.