Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Jailed ex-minister Balakrishna Pillai released in Kerala

Jailed ex-minister Balakrishna Pillai released in Kerala
Kerala Congress (B) leader and former minister R. Balakrishna Pillai, sentenced to jail for a year in a corruption case, was freed on Tuesday under the remission granted by the state government on the occasion of state-formation day.
The release orders were handed over by the Central Prison officials here to 78-year-old Pillai at a private hospital in the city where he had been shifted for treatment about three months ago.
The Opposition LDF voiced strong reservation over the decision alleging the guidelines of the remission order were drawn up to help Pillai, whose Kerala Congress (B) is a partner in the ruling Congress-led UDF.
Pillai's son Ganesh Kumar is the Forest Minister in the Oommen Chandy Government.
CPI(M) veteran V. S. Achuthanandan, who had pursued the case against Pillai upto the Supreme Court, said the decision amounted to showing disrespect to the apex court and a challenge to the rule of law.
As per the Orders issued by the Home Departmenton Monday, besides Pillai, 137 other prisoners would benefit from the grant of remission.

Pillai was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment by the Supreme Court in a case of corruption in February this year, pertaining to awarding of contract for a tunnel of the Edamalayar hydropower project in 1990s when he was Power Minister in the then UDF government.
Pillai ran into further trouble last month after he responded to a call from a local TV channel to his phone in violation of prison rules, following which authorities had extended his jail term by four days as penalty.
Forest Minister Kumar was also in the eye of a political storm recently by making lewd comments against Achuthanandan at a public meeting in his Assembly seat Pathanapuram

Balakrishna Pillai, 137 others to be released

As many as 138 prisoners in the state, including Kerala Congress (B)
leader R. Balakrishna Pillai, who was sentenced in Idamalayar case, will be released in connection with the
Kerala Piravi day on November 1.
Opposition leader V.S.Achuthanandan said the decision was an insult to the Supreme Court.
Pillai, who was convicted to one year rigorous imprisonment, was undergoing sentence since February 18. So far he had only spent 69 days and was on parole for 75 days.
Another convict in the Idamalayar case,
P.K.Sajeevan, would also be released.
Former IG K.Lakshmana, who is undergoing life-term in the Naxal Varghese case, would get one year remission in sentence.
About 2,500 prisoners in the state will get the benefit of theremission.
The extent of remission ranges from 15 days for thosesentenced up to three months to one year for those sentenced for fiveyears to 10 years.
Forty-eight prisoners in the Poojapura CentralJail, 14 of Viyyur central jail, 39 of Kannur central prison, ten of Cheemeni central prison, five of Nettukaltheri open prison, nine of Thiruvananthapuram women’s jail, three of Kannur women’s prison, eight of Kozhikode district prison and two of Kollam district prison will be released.
An official release from the government said that the previous LDF government granted remission trice and more than 7,000 prisoners got the advantage of the remission.

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