Saji Cheriyan's controversial remarks: Kerala HC questions need for CBI investigation

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Saji Cheriyan | File Photo: Mathrubhumi News

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday questioned the need for a probe by CBI or an agency outside the state into the controversial remarks allegedly made by CPI(M) leader Saji Cheriyan against the Constitution, saying that the police report regarding the matter was yet to be considered by the lower court.

The high court also said that the petitioner can raise objections against the referral report before the lower court itself.

In view of the query and observation by Justice Ziyad Rahman A A, the plea seeking a probe into the matter by CBI or an agency outside Kerala was withdrawn by the petitioner.

Advocate Baiju Noel M, the petitioner, said the court granted him permission to withdraw the plea now with the liberty to file it again later.

The petitioner also said that he has received a notice from the lower court regarding the referral report filed by the police giving a clean chit to Cheriyan, now the Minister of Fisheries, Culture and Youth Affairs in Kerala.

"I have to appear before the court in connection with that on February 3," he said.

If the lower court accepts the police report after hearing my side, then I will challenge the order in the high court, he added.

If the lower court does not accept the report, police would be asked to investigate the matter, Noel said.

In such a scenario another plea in the high court for a CBI probe would lead to parallel proceedings, he further said.

"Therefore, I decided to withdraw the plea from the high court," he said.

The lower court on January 5 had rejected Noel's plea to defer its final decision on the police report.

The development occurred the day after Cheriyan was sworn in, for the second time, as a minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government.

The CPI(M) leader had resigned in July last year from the Cabinet over his alleged remarks against the Constitution during a speech in Pathanamthitta district and the filing of a criminal case against him in connection with that. PTI

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