The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered a detailed land survey in a case involving former Transport Minister Thomas Chandy who had been accused of usurping land.
Making it clear that there was no need to register an FIR, the court asked authorities to hold the survey and submit a report in three months.
The court ruling came on two petitions filed against Chandy, which sought registration of a case against him and appropriate action as a resort he owns in Alappuzha had allegedly usurped government land.
Businessman-turned-politician Chandy belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party and has all along maintained his innocence.
With the Assembly session set to commence later this month, the High Court order comes as a temporary relief to both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Chandy.
After several days of hanging on to power, Chandy was forced to resign in November last year as Minister.
On November 14, the HC had dismissed his plea seeking to quash a report by Alappuzha District Collector TV Anupama accusing him of land grab.
â€śIn a cabinet that has collective responsibility, without taking the Chief Minister into confidence approaching court against a District Collector's report is a classic case of disqualificationâ€¦ Are you saying that the court should protect you?â€ť reports quoted the HC as saying.
The entire row over Thomas Chandy's land grab surfaced after Alappuzha district collector TV Anupama submitted a report to Revenue Principal Secretary PH Kurian in August.
The report stated that portions of Marthandam Lake had been levelled for building the Ministerâ€™s Lake Palace Resort. The report also said that a paddy field was levelled to build a parking lot for the resort.
Ever since the controversy broke, NCP has been backing its only minister in the Pinarayi cabinet. The state government had also delayed taking a stand in the matter, asking Thomas Chandy to decide whether he will step down or not.
(With IANS inputs)