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Idamalayar case: VS files petition

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI Sept. 16. The Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, has filed a petition before the Kerala High Court seeking to implead him in the appeals filed by the State Government and R. Balakrishna Pillai and other convicted in the Idamalayar case.

Justice N. Krishna Nair had begun hearing the appeals filed by the convicted persons, including P.K. Sajeevan and K. Ramabhadran Nair, former KSEB chairman, against their conviction and sentence.

They were sentenced to undergo five years' rigorous imprisonment by the Idamalayar Special court in the case relating to the corruption in the construction of the power tunnel of the Idamalayar Hydroelectric Project.

As many as seven accused had been acquitted, against which the State had filed an appeal.

In his petition, Mr. Achuthanandan pointed that it was the Special Squad, Idamalayar Investigations, which had filed chargesheet against Mr. Balakrishna Pillai and G. Gopakakrishna Pillai, former Power Secretary, and others.

He said that there had been a move to withdraw the case against Mr. Gopalakrishna Pillai in 1992. He had then moved the Special Court, raising objections to the move. However, the court had rejected the prosecution's request for withdrawal.

On an appeal, the High Court had reversed the order of the Special Court. The Supreme Court later allowed an appeal filed by him against the High Court order. During the pendency of the appeal, the UDF Government, which was in power then, took a decision to withdraw prosecution against other accused in the case.

It was on account of the intervention of the Supreme Court that the trial could be proceeded and charges framed against the accused in 1995.

Mr. Achuthanandan said that he was a responsible citizen who had initiated legal actions for proper prosecutions against the accused in public interest. He was interested in the successful conduct of the appeals and defending the criminal appeals filed by the convicted accused. Therefore, he pleaded that he be heard through his counsel in support of the prosecution case.

Export registration

The Kerala High Court today directed the Central Government to take a final decision on the suspension of registration of two spices exporters in Kochi within three months after considering their detailed replies to notices given by the Spices Board.

Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair issued the directive on two writ petitions filed by Nishant Exporter, Kochi, and the Kochi Branch of the Jamnadas Madhavji International. The judge also directed these exporters to file "a detailed reply to the notices issued by the Spices Board as if these notices were issued by the Central Government''.

The judge also directed the Spices Board to forward the replies with their suggestion or comments to the Central Government, on the basis of which, the Central Government should "draw up proposals'' for initiating appropriate action against the petitioners.

The court, however, made it clear that the suspension of registration would continue and directed the Spices Board to allow the petitioners to carry out any current transactions if the petitioner approached the Spices Board with such request.

The allegation against the exporters was that they had imported black pepper during 2002 and 2003 from Vietnam and re-exported them as M.G. Grade I (Malabar Garbled).

The notice given by the Board said that the petitioners had prima facie tried to obliterate the identity of pepper grown in India and the value added with a view to "undue enrichment''.

The petitioners contended that the action of the Spices Board was arbitrary. Nor any notice had been issued to them by the Central Government before suspending their registration. Besides, not a single consignment of goods exported by the petitioners during the period was rejected by any overseas purchaser, they submitted.

Munna murder case

The Kerala High Court today granted the CBI six more months to complete the investigation into the case relating to the murder of Munna, a Thrissur-based Abakari contractor.

Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair issued the order on a petition filed by the CBI Inspector, N. Surendran.

In his petition, he pointed out that some more persons were to be arrested. Besides, the doctor who had preformed the post-mortem had now come out in support of the CBI version. Besides, it was revealed during the investigation that some police officers were involved in the crime. The charred body of Munna was found in a partially burnt abandoned car at Srikrishnapuram in Palakkad in April, 1992.

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