Lok Ayukta: VD Satheesan dismisses State's explanation given to governor, calls it misleading

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader VD Satheesan said that the explanation given by the state government to the governor concerning Lok Ayukta ordinance is misleading. In a letter addressed to the governor Arif Mohammad Khan, the opposition leader alleged that the government had made a mistake in claiming that the courts had no jurisdiction to direct the public servant to resign through a 'Quo warranto'.

Earlier, the governor had sought an explanation from the government based on a letter by members of a UDF delegation on January 27 stating that the amended ordinance was illegal and should not be signed. Following this, the state filed an explanation with queries raised by the opposition leader claiming that the high court has no power to remove a public servant from the office. In response to this, VD Satheesan wrote a letter to the governor pointing out that this finding from the government is misleading.

"The government's argument that the courts do not possess power to direct a public servant to resign by issuing a Quo warranto writ is not true. The government is making this argument citing the case of KC Chandy and R Balakrishna Pillai. However, the Supreme Court has ordered the resignation of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in the case of BR Kapoor vs Government of Tamil Nadu. The power of the Supreme Court to dismiss a public servant by issuing a Quo warranto writ applies to all courts in the country," he pointed out.

"In the KC Chandy vs R Balakrishna Pillai case, the Kerala High Court pointed out that the only limitation was the issuance of Quo warranto writ for breach of oath by a minister. Lok Ayukta stands as an anti-corruption body set up by a law passed by the Kerala Legislative Assembly. It is not within the purview of the Lok Ayukta to take action against a breach of oath by a public servant," he said.

The letter from the Leader of the Opposition refuted all claims made by the government. He also requested the governer not to sign the ordinance.

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