Kerala Information Commissioner K. Natarajan has reportedly courted trouble after media disclosures Tuesday that he tried to influence a probe to protect former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan in a land scam case.
TV channels have telecast a mobile phone conversation, that reportedly took place last month, between Natarajan and Vigilance Deputy Superintendent of Police V.G. Kunju in which the information commissioner was persuading Kunju to see that Achuthanandan is not included in the list of accused in the case.
In January this year, a vigilance probe arraigned the veteran Marxist leader as one of the eight accused in the case.
The investigating team has named four Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials, including the then principal secretary to Achuthanandan, Sheela Thomas, as the accused.
State Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan told reporters here Tuesday that the government "will look into the legal aspects in this matter and then take up the issue. If we find out that there is an excessive pressure on the investigating official, then it will be proceeded with."
Natarajan, a former Indian Police Service officer, was appointed an information commissioner when Achuthanandan was the chief minister.
Natarajan, according to reports, has been regularly speaking to the vigilance official after March this year and the conversation that was telecast on the TV channels here is believed to have taken place last month.
Asked to react to the news, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said it would be improper for him to make any comment on this without studying in detail.
Meanwhile, the vigilance has already launched an enquiry into the whole episode after the investigating official reported the matter to his higher-ups.
In June last year, the Congress-led Chandy government ordered a probe after examining all files related to the land transfer to T.K. Soman, a relative of Achuthanandan.
The cabinet also decided to cancel the land allotment at Kasargode district involving Soman, a former defence official.
The alleged land transfer took place at the fag end of Achuthanandan's tenure as the chief minister in early 2011.
As per the government norms, when land is given to people in the defence category it should not exceed more than an acre.
Instead, Soman was given 2.33 acres. The rule says such allotted land cannot be sold or transferred for 25 years.