KOCHI: Senior Congress legislator P.T. Thomas on Sunday fired a fresh salvo at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan over the appointment of Justice P. Ubaid (retd) as chairman of the Kerala Real Estate Appellate Tribunal.
Ubaid in 2017 had exonerated Vijayan in the SNC Lavalin case, relating to an agreement inked 20 years ago with Canadian company SNC-Lavalin when Vijayan was the state Power Minister. Thomas told the media that this appointment is in “total violation” of what CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said soon after former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was nominated to the Upper House of Parliament.
Yechuri had then slammed the Modi government and quoted Gogoi’s own remark that appointment of retired judges in political posts is a “scar on the independence of the judiciary”. “In Kerala, what’s happening now is that in the name of fighting Covid-19, appointments and contracts are being made at a breakneck speed. I really doubt if Justice Ubaid will actually take up this post,” said Thomas. Vijayan is currently the target of the Congress demand that he step down in the wake of alleged handing of details of about two lakh coronavirus suspect cases to a US marketing firm. Thomas had on Saturday dragged in the name of Vijayan’s daughter Veena’s IT firm into the data controversy. (IANS)