In another relief to the CPI (M)-led LDF government, a division bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursdayexpunged the observations made by a single bench against Minister KK Shailaja.
This comes a day after the High Court acquitted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the sensational SNC Lavlin case.
The bench led by the chief justice expunged the observations by accepting the state government’s contention in an appeal that the observations against the minister were made without granting her a hearing or making her a party in the case.
Such a move by the single bench was in violation of various SC judgements, the advocate general argued, reports Times of India.
The government also argued that the single bench could have decided the matter before it, without making observations about the minister who was not a party in the case.
The contention of the government was that the single bench could have made such observations, as per Supreme Court guidelines, against the minister in her absence, only if there was evidence to show that her conduct was mala fide and if consideration of mala fide action was essential for deciding the case.
On August 18, the HC flayed the minister for extending the deadline for submitting applications for vacant posts of the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (KSCPCR).
Since the minister had given no reason for extending the deadline, it can be assumed that she misused her power to appoint two members of her choice, the court observed.
The court quashed the appointment of TB Suresh Kumar (Wayanad) and Syamala Devi (Kasargode).
Suresh Kumar, who is an active worker of the CPI (M), has been convicted in a criminal case and has three cases pending against him.
Earlier, the remarks by the single bench against KK Shailaja saw a political controversy erupting in the state.
The opposition has launched a protest and five opposition MLAs had begun fasting outside the Assembly. They had threatened an indefinite protest if the remarks against Shailaja weren’t expunged.
Meanwhile, the Minister has maintained that the idea behind extending the date was to get more effective candidates and to get applicants from the northern districts.