The UDF government has been advised by the advocate general to take the Governor’s nod before prosecuting Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan in the case related to allotment of land to his kin. On Monday, the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau had decided to arraign him as the first accused in the case.
Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the government sought AG’s advice after a junior legal adviser opined against the move. However, a senior VACB prosecutor gave a go ahead. VS had stated that he would quit as Opposition leader if chargesheeted.
In June 2011, the government had ordered a vigilance probe into the alleged irregularities in allotment of 2.43 acres of land to T K Soman, a kin of Achuthanandan when he was the chief minister.
The other accused in the case are former revenue minister K P Rajendran, Achuthanandan’s personal assistant A Suresh, his relative T K Soman and former Kasaragod district collector N A Krishnankutty. In the FIR, the VACB had named IAS officials Sheela Thomas, Anand Singh and K R Muraleedharan as accused. But their names were dropped from the final list. However, Krishnankutty, a retired IAS official, was not exempted even though it was Anand Singh who had allotted the land as district collector in 2009.
Sources said the IAS lobby had pressured the government to drop the three officials except Krishnankutty, a Dalit.
In 1977, Soman was allotted three acres of land by the then Congress government under a scheme for military personnel. He did not take possession of the allotted land, which faced a legal dispute. Also he could not pay the required money. Subsequently, the land went to other hands.
Soman moved the court and obtained a favourable verdict to claim the land. After Achuthanandan became the chief minister, he sent the same petition that he had submitted to the previous Congress government.
It is alleged that Achuthanandan asked Krishnankutty to consider Soman’s plea. Later the district land assignment board identified 2.43 acres of land, which was allotted when Anand Singh was the district collector.
Soman then approached the government seeking waive for the condition that the given land should not be alienated for 25 years from the day of allotment, considering the delay in getting land. The issue then came before Cabinet.
The Cabinet took a favourable decision, but revoked it after the issue became a controversy towards the end of Left regime. After the Congress came to