Binoy Viswam, Forest Minister of Kerala, IndiaForest Minister Mr. Binoy Viswam is a honourabale man. So is Mr. V. Gopinathan, Chief Conservator of Forests who has been suspended over the Merchiston estate deal. So, what went wrong?

The deal was a legal trapeze act. So, one cannot declare anyone guilty before the courts look into the matter. (The cases will hang on indefinitely. The prosecution may play weak as in almost all forest cases.) But, there were powerful players behind the scene.

Mr. Viswam had come under pressure from his own Cabinet colleagues. A very senior official was putting pressure on Gopinathan. The ISRO was playing every trick in the book to get things done. But no enquiry covered these people. The Opposition all the while is clamouring for the head of Mr. Viswam alone.

Update (25/10/07) : The Chief Minister has finally taken the bold stand that ISRO should not be insisting on land at the Merchiston estate.