Opposition uproar over alleged early remission for convicts in TP murder case

VD Satheesan pointed out that the government move was strange, as granting remission to TP case convicts would be a violation of a High Court order in this regard.
Congress leader VD Satheesan
Congress leader VD Satheesan (File photo| EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Opposition UDF on Thursday cornered the Left government over its alleged move to grant early remission to T K Rajeesh, K K Muhammed Shafi and S Sijith, convicts in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case. The assembly witnessed a major uproar, after the UDF accused the government of trying to give remission to a fourth convict too — Trouser Manojan — even after the matter courted controversy.

Congress leader VD Satheesan
TP Chandrasekharan murder case: Uproar in Kerala Assembly over govt move to grant remission to convicts

On Tuesday, the Speaker had denied permission to Chandrasekharan’s wife and RMP MLA K K Rema to raise the issue through an adjournment motion. On Thursday, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan raised the issue through a submission. He said that the government took a slew of out-of-the-way steps to ensure that the convicts get remission.

He pointed out that the government move was strange, as granting remission to TP case convicts would be a violation of a High Court order in this regard.

Satheesan alleged that the efforts for this began in 2022 itself. Since the government knew that a norm in the Prison Act could stand in the way of granting remission to the accused, the government issued an order saying that this norm won’t be applicable for special remission. “How can an order be issued cancelling a provision in legislation passed by the assembly? The government has in fact tried to bypass the assembly,” he alleged.

He pointed out that on Tuesday the Speaker had stated that these ‘allegations’ are mere speculations. “How can a letter sent by the jail authorities be termed as speculation?” he asked. “On Wednesday night around 7.37 pm, K K Rema got a call from Kolavalloor police station, seeking her view on commuting the sentence of another accused - Trouser Manoj,” added Satheesan. Neither the chief minister nor the Speaker was present in the House, when the UDF raised the submission.

Deputy speaker Chittayam Gopakumar was in the Chair. Minister Rajesh, who spoke on behalf of the CM, refuted the charges and said three jail officials were suspended. Following this, Satheesan sought to refute the minister’s statement, while Left MLAs tried to interrupt him. This led to noisy scenes in the House, with UDF MLAs trooping to the well of the House in protest, raising slogans and holding placards. As the protest continued for some time, Speaker A N Shamseer returned to the Chair.

Later speaking to the media, Rema accused the government of trying to mislead the House. Jail officials alone cannot take such a decision without political clearance, she said. Even after the issue came up in the House, the government is going ahead with the move. Now the officials have been suspended, as a face-saving measure, she said.

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