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Kerala HC rejects apology
Minister faces contempt charge

Kochi, April 13
The Kerala High Court today rejected the “unconditional apology” tendered by state local self-government minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty and posted for May 30 the framing of charges against him and two Malayalam newspapers for contempt of court.

Meanwhile, according to a report from Malappuram, ruling out his resignation from the Kerala Cabinet in the wake of adverse court remarks, Kutty today said “every citizen has a right to point out the weaknesses of the judiciary”.

Reacting to the court order rejecting his unconditional apology for his controversial remarks, he said “I am not afraid of punishment by the judiciary” in the case.

Earlier, a division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice K.S. Radhakrishanan and Justice M.N. Krishanan, said it found no reason to accept the minister's apology and further steps would be taken against him and two Malayalam newspapers, Madhyamam and Mangalam, under section 14 (d) (1) of the Contempt of Court (High Court of Kerala) Rules, pertaining to framing of charges. It then posted the case for further hearing on May 30.

The court, however, accepted the apology of two other newspapers, Rashtreeya Deepika and Tejas, and dropped further proceedings against them.

Rejecting the apology made by the minister during a personal appearance in the court on February 26, the bench said the words spoken by the minister would have a great impact on the minds of the general public compared to that of a speech made by a poor, illiterate, ignorant and uneducated common man.

Stressing that there was no need forPaloli Mohammedkutty to resign, the CPI (M) today said it would fight the case legally.

“There is no need for Mohammedkutty to resign. The CPI(M) will challenge the HC order legally,’’ CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan told newspersons here. The verdict was expected and there was no surprise in it, he added.

Vijay said while the Opposition were demanding the resignation of a minister in the light of a court order, the CPI(M) had always asked for the resignation of ministers against whom the court had pronounced verdicts in corruption cases. — UNI

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