AG’s decision to entrust case with state attorney courts controversy

Published: 29th October 2017 01:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2017 08:14 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the Revenue Minister and the Advocate General have come to a direct confrontation over the land case involving minister Thomas Chandy, the AG’s decision to entrust the case with a state attorney has courted controversy. The CPI leadership has already come out against the AG’s decision. However, the party prefers to wait till the Jana Jagratha Yatras are over before taking up the issue within the LDF. “The yatras will be over by November 3. By that time, the government will get the legal advice on the Collector’s report too,” said a senior CPI leader. 

The CPI state leadership and Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan are fuming over Advocate General C P Sudhakara Prasad rejecting the Revenue Minister’s demand to entrust the case with Additional Advocate General Ranjit Thampan.  Meanwhile, Revenue Department sources said the AG cannot entrust such a case with a state attorney in the wake of a recent notification. 

They said a recent amendment has taken away the AG’s direct control, supervision and direction on the state attorney. A December 2016 notification issued by the Law (Inspection) Department has brought in amendments to the Kerala Government Law Officers (Appointment and Conditions of Service) and Conduct of Cases Rules 1978. 

As per the 2016 amendment, in rule 20 the sentence ‘Subject to the direct control, supervision and direction of Advocate General, the State Attorney may perform the duties specified in sub-rule (1) to (7A)’ has been replaced with ‘The following shall be the duties of the State Attorney in the High Court’.
“With the new amendments, the Advocate General cannot directly entrust such a case with the state attorney. The AG is learnt to have approached the government to retain these powers earlier vested with him,” sources said. 

With the Advocate General yet to officially respond to the Revenue Minister for his communication seeking to entrust the Thomas Chandy case with the AAG, the future course of action will be decided once the minister is back in the state capital. However, Law Secretary B G Harindranath categorically rejected such arguments. “All public prosecutors in the state, including the state attorney and the Additional Advocate General, come under the Advocate General. The December 2016 notification was made to reinstate functions of the Advocate General as existed before a previous amendment in October 2015,” Harindranth told Express. 

The AG’s refusal to accept the minister’s demand has not gone down well with the CPI leadership. Party state secretary Kanam Rajendran has already made his displeasure open. However, the party is learnt to have taken a decision to wait till the Jana Jagratha Yatras are over.

Revenue Minister comes out against AG

 Kasargod: Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan on Saturday came down heavily on Advocate General C  P Sudhakara Prasad for making a statement that the Revenue Department was not anybody’s ancestral property. “My culture is not allowing me to give a reply to Sudhakara Prasad,” the minister said here. “The AG has not given a reply to my letter regarding appointing Additional Advocate General (AAG) Renjith Thamban to appear for the Revenue Department in the land encroachment case against Transport Minister Thomas Chandy in the High Court.

I am the Revenue Minister of Kerala protecting the interests of the people of the state. I will talk on behalf of the people and continue to do so. My stand is that the AAG should appear in the court to fight the case against Thomas Chandy because Thamban is more experienced in handling land revenue cases,” he said.

AG is not above the govt: Kanam

Idukki: Expressing his strong displeasure over the removal of Additional Advocate General Renjith Thampan from handling the Marthandam Kayal encroachment case involving Minister Thomas Chandy in the HC, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran on Saturday said the state’s Advocate General was not above the state government.

Addressing mediapersons in Thodupuzha on the sidelines of LDF’s Jana Jagratha Yatra in Idukki, he said everything will be moved as per law. “Appropriate action will be taken against Thomas Chandy at the appropriate time. If he is found to be violating the law, stringent action will be taken against him,” he said. Kanam also came down heavily on Revenue Principal Secretary P H Kurian. “How can an Additional Chief Secretary be above the minister ? “ he asked.

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