Kerala HC suspends vigilance court order on Chandy

Kerala HC suspends vigilance court order on Chandy
In a major relief to Congress-led UDF government, Kerala High Court today stayed a Vigilance Court order to register an FIR against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Power Minister Arayadan Mohammed in the solar scam case.

Considering pleas filed by Chandy and Mohammed, Justice P Ubaid observed that the Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge (Vigilance), Thrissur, acted mechanically without knowing the nature and extent of its powers.

Suspending the Vigilance Court orders for two months, the High Court also directed its administrative section to consider action against the Vigilance Court judge.

"The Vigilance Court suffers jurisdiction errors," the High Court said. In his petition, Chandy said the Vigilance Court proceeded to act upon newspaper reports to pass "the impugned order" and it has "committed a grave error of jurisdiction".

The Vigilance Court judge, who ordered the vigilance director to register an FIR against Chandy and Mohammed and six others in the case, had observed that everyone was equal before law, "be it a village man or a chief minister." Judge S S Vassan in the order had stated that he was not making any comments on the merits of the case.

"I have to bear in mind Article 14 of the Constitution. Be it a village man or the chief minister, law is equal to all public servants. Therefore the complaint is forwarded to Director VACB (Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau) for investigation under sect 156(3) CrPC," the judge had said. He had directed that the report has to be submitted by April 11, the next hearing of the case.

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