Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on former state minister Thomas Chandy and three others for withdrawing their pleas challenging a vigilance court's proceedings against them in a land grab case. Justice B Sudheendra Kumar observed that withdrawing the petitions at the last stage of the case set a bad precedent and loss of precious judicial time.
The withdrawal pleas were filed after completion of the hearing in the case and when the matter was ready for pronouncement of judgement. Chandy's son was also among the four who were fined for withdrawal of pleas against the proceedings by a vigilance court in Kottayam.
Initiating proceedings against Chandy and others, the vigilance court had directed the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate a case registered against them for building a road to a resort in Alappuzha after reclaiming land from a backwater lake. Chandy and others moved the high court seeking quashing of the case against them.
NCP leader Chandy quit as the state transport minister in 2017. His resigned after the high court rapped him for staying on as minister even after a probe report named him for alleged irregularities at his lakeside resort.