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Refusal of hearing petitions grave dereliction of duty: Iyer

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Refusal of hearing petitions grave dereliction of duty: Iyer
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Kochi: Noted jurist V R Krishna Iyer Saturday said the refusal of four Kerala High Court judges to hear the revision petition challenging the discharge of CPI-M State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in a graft case was a "grave dereliction of duty by the highest judiciary in the state".

Justice Iyer, a former Supreme Court judge, has written letters to Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar and High Court Chief Justice Manjula Chellur over the issue.

Justices M L Joseph Francis, K Harilal, Harun Al Rashid and Thomas P Joseph had refused to hear the petition filed by Crime Editor T P Nandakumar against the discharge of Vijayan and 6 others in the SNC Lavalin case.

The CBI special court had on November 5 discharged Vijayan, former power minster, and six others from the alleged Rs 375 crore graft case.

In a letter to Kerala Governor, a copy of which was circulated to the media here, Justice Iyer said, "This is a grave dereliction of duty by the highest judiciary in the state. You are the head of the state and have the authority to find out whether the judges of the High Court discharge their function truthfully of delinquency and violation of their fundamental duty to hear and do justice."

"Every judge is obliged by his oath of office to hear every case posted before him and do justice... That is great duty from which they cannot retreat. Not to hear case or decline to do justice is breach of solemn obligation vested in them. To default or decline to exercise this sublime power is to invite impeachment by Parliament or dismissal by the President..," Justice Iyer said.

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