Reacting strongly to the Amicus Curiae report, which pointed fingers at the Kerala government for faulty dam management being the reason for the devastating floods in August 2018, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that the Amicus Curiae is not a technical expert but an advocate appointed by the court to gather information, and the court can either accept or reject the report.
In what came as a setback for the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala, a report submitted by the Amicus curiae to the Kerala High Court on Wednesday recommended a judicial probe into the cause of the worst-ever floods to hit the state in August last year, after it found that faulty dam management led to the flooding.
“In a normal scenario, when an Amicus Curiae submits a report, it does not become a topic of discussion. But this time, even the submission of such a report had caused a lot of discussion in the media, which can be seen as a form of attack on the State Government before the Lok Sabha elections,” stated Pinarayi Vijayan, because of which he felt that the government owes an explanation.
By stating that this is a highly scientific and technological issue, Pinarayi Vijayan went on to say that the Amicus Curiae had not consulted all parties or listened to what experts had to say regarding the issue. “Facilities like the Central Water Commission and Indian Institute of Technology - Madras (IIT-M) have already concluded that excessive rainfall was the reason for Kerala floods,” he added.
“The international community and various committees with scientific knowledge have appreciated the way, the state of Kerala handled the floods. Now the media reports are rejecting all these expert comments and is accepting a report which is prepared by an advocate as real and scientific,” said the Kerala Chief Minister, who went on to say, “This is an insult to the court, because it is the court that has the final say regarding this issue and not the Amicus Curiae.”
In a 49-page-report submitted to the court by the Amicus Curiae, it was observed that simultaneous release of water from different reservoirs had caused the flooding. Pinarayi rejected these claims by stating that it was not “logical” and went on to say that, “Proper warnings were issued before the dams were opened. Even the media had appreciated the precautions taken by the government before opening the gates of the reservoirs including Idukki.”