Opposition walked out over release of Pillai

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition LDF in Kerala staged a walkout from the Assembly alleging the UDF government had violated prison rules while granting remission to Kerala Congress-B leader R Balakrishna Pillai, who was sentenced to one-year imprisonment in a corruption case.

Pillai was released along with 137 other prisoners through a government remission order on State Formation day on November 1. Denying the Opposition charge, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the government decision was transparent and as per law. “This government has not done anything illegal or unlawful. The order for remission is within the framework of law,” he said.

He pointed out the previous LDF government had also granted remission to persons convicted in corruption cases and even released those who were sentenced to life for murder. Taking up the matter in the house as a special mention, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said the government had given a go by to prison rules to favour Pillai.

The Supreme Court had sentenced 78-year-old Pillai in Idamalayar dam corruption case, which dates back to 1980s when he was the power minister in the Congress-led UDF government. Pillai was found guilty of having caused the Kerala State Electricity Board a loss of Rs 2 crore by awarding contracts at inflated rates.

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