CPI-M again challenging rule of law Sunday, Jun 7 2009 

Kerala Governor R. S. Gavai

Kerala Governor R. S. Gavai

The CPI (M) is challenging the rule of law by observing a black day against decision of the Governor R. S. Gavai sanctioning prosecution of CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.

The issue here is not Mr. Vijayan’s innocence or guilt, but the requirement that he should stand trial like any citizen of this country. Even bias in the investigation is not a valid justification for trying to undermine the due process of law. Everyone is equal before law. In the case of Mr. Vijayan, the CBI investigation was directly supervised by a court of law and prima facie a case has been established.

The Constitutional provision requiring prior permission of the Governor for prosecution of people for anything done in their capacity as Ministers is merely intended to ensure that those who held such positions are not unnecessarily harassed for bona fide action taken in the discharge of their duties. It is not an instrument to protect people from the consequences of wrong doing.

What the CPI (M) is doing now is reminiscent of what Indira Gandhi did after she was unseated by the Allahabad High Court for electoral malpractices. She changed the law to save herself and declared emergency to stay in power. Mr. Vijayan is using Government machinery and the party machinery to save himself from the due process of law. The party is directly challenging a Constitutional authority. The organisational power of a political party is not to be misused to save an individual.

If the illiterate people of India could deliver a crushing defeat to Indira Gandhi, the fate awaiting the CPI (M) is clear. In fact, the people has already spoken through the Lok Sabha elections.

UDF imposes another hartal on the people Wednesday, May 6 2009 

The Congress led United Democratic Front in Kerala is imposing another hartal on the people for its own failures.

The hartal is in protest against the Cabinet’s recommendation to the Governor against prosecution of the CPI (M) State secretary Pinarai Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin corruption case. The case pertains to the period when Pinarai was the Power Minister in the LDF Cabinet that came to power a decade ago. After that, the UDF had ruled the State for five years.

Five years was enough time for the government to conclude an investigation and permit prosecution. But the UDF Government was keen on withdrawing the Palmolein corruption case against Congress leader K. Karunakaran rather than pursuing the case against Pinarai, especially when the present Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy was the Chief Minister.

After the investigation was entrusted to the CBI, the Congress had been in power at the Centre. However, the CBI sat on the investigation as along as the CPI (M) was supporting the Government at the Centre. Then, it acted and sought sanction from the Governor for the prosecution, which he referred to the Government.

The Advocate General, who is a political nominee of the CPI (M) has given a legal opinion against prosecution despite the CBI listing Pinarai as the ninth accused after an investigation supervised by the courts. The CPI (M) intervened to force the decision by the Cabinet against feeble objections raised by the Chief Minister.

The case has never been vigourously by the Congress. Now, in view of media criticism about its dilly dallying, the party is imposing another hartal on the people. Thus both the UDF and LDF becoming party to subversion of rule of the law in the State.

Politicians and equality before law Monday, Jan 26 2009 

Pinarayi Vijayam is embarking on a march, terming the case as politically motivated

Pinarayi Vijayam is embarking on a march, terming the case as politically motivated

The Indian Constitution  says that all citizen’s are equal before the law. However, the law makers have forged a privileged position for themselves. So, the governor’s permission is needed to prosecute politicians who occupies or had occupied positions of power in Government. Thus, one of the issues in the way of prosecution of the State  Secretary of the CPI (M) in Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan in the Lavalin case investigated by the CBI now is the necessity governor’s clearance. This in most cases would be political decisions not based on the merit of the case. The ordinary citizen would have no such benefit.

Former Chief Ministers Prakash Singh Badal (Punjab), S. R. Bommai (Karnataka), Lalu Prasad Yadav (Bihar) and Mayawati (U. P) are people who have benefited from provisions of Criminal Procedure Code and other laws relating to framing of charges against them. In Kerala, the palmolein case former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran dragged on for years over such special provisions. The CBI case against the former Minister of Electricity in Kerala Padmarajan  could not proceed for want of permission.

Kerala’s Lok Ayukta, which can investigated complaints against Ministers and others, consists of persons having the rank of High Court Judges. However, they have no punitary powers. There recommendations to prosecute offenders would have to go to the political executive for action. Even University syndicate members can take cover under these provisions.

The special provisions for those who held positions of authority in Government is purported to protect bona fide actions. However, they now come in the way of justice.