Congress always respected judiciary: Ramachandran

Kozhikode: In the wake of a special judge recusing himself from the palmolein import case alleging "some personal attack" against him, Union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran on Sunday said the judge has got the right to hear or not hear a case but Congress has always respected the judiciary.

"Criticising the judiciary in public is not the tradition of Indian National Congress", he told reporters in response to a query on the decision by the Special Judge of the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance court PK Haneefa to recuse from hearing the 1992 palmolein import case.

"The judge has got the right to hear or not hear any case. This is not a new phenomenon. There were several occasions wherein judges had rescued themselves from hearing cases," he said.

The judiciary should go independently, he said, adding his organisation had always respected it.

Pointing out that it was not right to criticise judgements publicly, Ramachandran said it might be questioned at the right forums.

The vigilance court judge, who had ordered investigation into the role of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the palmolein import case, had rescued himself yesterday, saying there was "some personal attack" against him.

Chandy was the Finance Minister when the deal was signed and late Congress leader K Karunakaran the Chief Minister.

The case pertains to import of 32,000 tonnes of palmolein from Malaysia, allegedly causing a loss of Rs 2.32 crore to the state exchequer.