KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday held that the arrest of Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and his interrogation, as part of the investigation into the Titanium corruption case, would stand deferred until the court issues further orders. The court made it clear that the investigation into the Titanium graft case as such cannot be stayed in view of the directions made by the Supreme Court regarding the probe of corruption cases.
Justice P Ubaid passed the order while admitting a petition filed by Chennithala, seeking to quash the order by the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court, directing to register an FIR against him and the other persons allegedly involved in the Travancore Titanium corruption case, and to initiate a probe. The court also directed Jayan of Manakkad, who filed complaint against the ministers and others before the Vigilance Court, to file a statement in the case.
The Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court had ordered to register an FIR against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, Public Works Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju and 6 others in the Titanium case.
The petitioner submitted that the order was issued by the Special Judge, on which no action was initially ordered by the court. The court observed that all matters would be looked into in detail at a later stage.
The investigation into the case against the ministers has not commenced yet. Counsel for the petitioner S Sreekumar submitted that Ramesh Chennithala was implicated in the case on the sole ground that he was president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee during the relevant period.
“However, Chennithala was not the KPCC president at that time. He assumed charge much later. The petitioner was the secretary of the AICC during that period,” the counsel submitted. The court directed that the submission regarding the assumption of charge as president by the petitioner would have to be considered by the investigating officer during the probe. “However, the investigation as such cannot be stayed,” the court held. In the Vigilance case, registered in 2006, the petitioner was not arraigned as accused. “While registering crime or conducting investigation, the investigating officer or the police officer concerned will have to think who all could be arraigned as accused, and who all need not be,” the court held.