I will deal with land transfer case: Achuthanandan

January 12th, 2012 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Alappuzha (Kerala), Jan 12 (IANS) Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, named as number one accused in a land transfer case by the vigilance department, Thursday said he will deal with the issue both politically and legally.

“The (Oommen) Chandy government and six ministers facing corruption charges are trying to use this case politically against me… I have been in public life for nearly seven decades and people know me,” Achuthanandan told reporters here.

News that the vigilance department, after a preliminary inquiry, recommended that the veteran communist be arraigned as one of the eight accused as it was a corruption case came Wednesday night.

The investigating team has named four Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials, including the then principal secretary of Achuthanandan, Sheela Thomas as accused in the case.

The others whose names figure in the list include the then revenue minister and Communist Party of India (CPI) leader K.P. Rajendran, besides the personal assistant of Achuthanandan, Suresh.

“You should note that this case was pursued by a vigilance official who has retired and was given lot of sops by the present government to frame me,” Achuthanandan said.

“Others who have ganged up against me include P.K. Kunhalikutty, R. Balakrishna Pillai and Inspector General of Police Tomin J. Thachenkery,” he added.

Kunhalikutty is at present state industries minister and Pillai is a former ruling front minister who was jailed in a corruption case that was pursued for long by Achuthanandan while Thachenkery was suspended first by Achuthanandan in 2010.

In June last year, the Oommen Chandy government, after examining all the files related to the land transfer to T.K. Soman, a relative of Achuthanandan, ordered a probe by the vigilance department.

The cabinet also decided to cancel the land allotment at Kasargode district involving Soman, a former defence official. The alleged land transfer took place at the fag end of Achuthanandan’s tenure as chief minister.

According to government norms, when land is given to people in the defence category, it should not exceed more than an acre. But Soman was given 2.33 acres.

Responding to Achuthanandan’s statement, Chief Minister Chandy said in Thiruvananthapuram: “We wish to know why did he say to the investigating officer that he does not know anything about the land transfer when all documents are clear that he intervened.”

The vigilance department had to approach Achuthanandan several times before he agreed to give his statement Dec 28 last year at his official residence in Thiruvananthapuram.

Vigilance Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan denied that the present government was haunting the communist veteran.

“A vigilance preliminary inquiry was on and they found merit in the case and have recommended to name Achuthanandan and others as accused. There is nothing political in the case and haunting people is not our cup of tea,” Radhakrishnan said.

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