Former Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan, named as first accused in a land scam case, Wednesday deplored the role of Kerala Information Commissioner K. Natarajan who has tried to intervene in the case.
"I don't need the help of anyone to fight my case, which is nothing but a fabricated one by the present (Oommen) Chandy government. Natarajan's role that came out is to be seen as nothing but a conspiracy to target me as the case is coming up for hearing Oct 17," said Achuthanandan while speaking to reporters here.
Since Tuesday, television channels here have been telecasting a mobile phone conversation that reportedly took place in September, between Natarajan and Vigilance Deputy Superintendent of Police V.G. Kunjan. In the conversation, the information commissioner is heard persuading Kunjan to see to it that Achuthanandan is not included in the list of accused in the case.
"The decision to appoint Natarajan was taken by a committee which included the then leader of opposition Chandy and two others, including me. I never appointed him. Instead, it was the decision of the three-member committee," said Achuthanandan, who went to the extent of demanding Natarajan's removal from the post of information commissioner.
Chief Minister Chandy, when asked about the issues that have surfaced, said that if the allegation against Natarajan is true, then it's a serious one.
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 in 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 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.
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 accused.