In a major relief to the UDF government, the vigilance court has ruled on Saturday that Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and two other cabinet ministers won't be arraigned in a case related to the alleged corruption in implementation of an effluent treatment plant at the public sector company, Travancore Titanium Products Ltd (TTP), during Chandy's initial stint as the CM in 2006.
It cannot be assumed that the chief minister was party to the conspiracy in the alleged corruption, the court observed. However, former TTP chairman T. Balakrishnan and other members of the Directors' Board of the firm will remain accused in the case.
The court hard earlier made it clear that there was no need of prior permission to file case against CM Chandy and Ministers Ramesh Chennithala and V.K. Ibrahim Kunju and that they did not enjoy any special legal immunity.
It was the Pollution Control Board that had directed to set up the effluent treatment plant at the Travancore Titanium. Following the direction, the CM had then written to the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee.
The CM cannot be incriminated just because he had mentioned the name of a company which had earlier applied for such a project, the court held. However, the court had completely rejected the government's argument that prior permission would be required for filing case against chief minister and other ministers.
The court also observed that it is the act and the time of the act that should be taken into account while filing a case.