Kerala opposition walks out on AG issue

Thiruvananthapuram, July 24 (IANS) The opposition on Friday walked out of the Kerala assembly in protest against the chair’s ruling against a discussion on the high court’s observations against Advocate General K.P. Dhandapani.

The opposition walkout came after Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy criticised the remarks of the Kerala high court judge who was hearing a case on Thursday and expressed full faith in the advocate general’s functioning.

Earlier, Left’s opposition legislator Mathew T. Thomas sought leave for an adjournment motion to discuss the high court’s remarks against Dhandapani.

Thomas said the court had come down heavily on the advocate general, adding that the AG office should be closed down since it was not functioning properly.

“Minutes after the court made the remark, the state saw the absolute defence of the advocate general by Chandy who gave him a clean chit. All of us are baffled by the act of the chief minister,” he said.

Chandy then hit out at the court and also the Left opposition.

“Ever since this advocate general took over, the Kerala government has not lost a case. During the Left rule (2006-11), you brought very expensive lawyers to argue for the state, but so far we have used the experience of a senior lawyer only twice because our AG is doing a neat and clean job and winning all the cases for the government,” said Chandy.

Chandy asked the opposition to get their facts right and not simply put signatures on notice for an adjournment notion without verifying.

Chandy said they do not have to learn how the Tamil Nadu advocate general functions.

“The Tamil Nadu advocate general said rape cases should be compromised. We do not agree with the view. It was turned down by the apex court. Hence, we do not wish to learn from them,” said Chandy.

Without naming the high court judge, Chandy referred to a case where he said in the open court that he knew the petitioner. “What do judges normally do in such cases,” the chief minisiter asked.

“One should not forget the responsibilities of the position one holds and only then can one do justice to society. If one functions otherwise, it will be counterproductive,” he said.

However, Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, said the high court’s observation was a “slap on the face of the Chandy government” and led the opposition out of the house in protest against the chair’s order not to allow discussion on the issue.

Communist Party of India leader C. Divakaran asked Chandy not to vent his anger on the opposition for raising the issue.

“You can get the adverse remarks revoked. Please don’t vent your anger on us,” said Divakaran.

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