Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after former Kerala minister R. Balakrishna Pillai and 137 others were released from jail Tuesday, Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan filed a petition in the apex court demanding that the amnesty given by the state government to Pillai be cancelled.
The 76-year-old Pillai, chief of the Kerala Congress-Pillai — an ally of the Congress-led coalition, was in February this year sentenced by the apex court to an year’s imprisonment for corruption. The case was pursued for more than a decade by Achuthanandan.The Oommen Chandy government, through an order Monday, gave the amnesty on the occasion of Kerala Day (Nov 1), reducing the jail terms of 2,500 prisoners.
After the order became public, Achuthanandan said the government is challenging the law of the land and it does not augur well.In his petition filed in the Supreme Court, Achuthanandan contended that the decision by the government to free Pillai is unconstitutional and sought the apex court’s intervention for its cancellation.
Achuthanandan noted that amnesty is given to those inmates who show exemplary behaviour while in jail and Pillai was not eligible for it.”He spoke over telephone when in jail and for that he was punished. This clearly shows that he is not eligible for it,” said Achuthanandan to reporters in Kochi Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, an official from the central jail arrived at the private hospital here, where Pillai is admitted since Aug 5, and got his signatures on the release papers.Meanwhile, reacting to Achuthanandan’s move, Pillai’s son and state Forest Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar said Achuthanandan has a long standing grudge against his father.