By Lakshmi N. Kaimal
An allegation, without findings, and Caesar’s wife had cost former Minister K.M. Mani his seat. Agitations and dharnas were held, demanding his resignation, when he was accused of corruption. He resigned and Caesar’s wife breathed a sigh of relief. Now, it is the turn of the LDF to distance itself from a similar situation.
The Director General of Prosecutions, who is to head the prosecution in the State, has allegations of misappropriation against him. The LDF government came to power after charges of corruption and nepotism against the UDF. However, nobody in the UDF Ministry was convicted of any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, except for Balakrishna Pillai, who is in the LDF camp for the time being.
There are now 2 options available to the LDF led government (i) to starve the government to malnutrition, depriving it of the essential political principles for convenience or (ii) divorce Caesar’s wife for she has to come clear of the allegation.
The Chief Minister has been attacked by the Opposition leader, alleging that the appointment of the DGP was not wise as he is accused of misappropriation, and rightly so. P.G. Thampi resigned during the tenure of the V.S. Achuthanandan-led LDF government. There were allegations against him. He was also not convicted when he resigned (or was forced to resign).
There is now a report in a criminal court against the current DGP, though only as a director of a company. Maybe he is not the director-in-charge of the day-to-day affairs of the company. But the government feels it convenient to explain it as if there are no personal allegations against him and so there is nothing wrong in him continuing.
“Oh, Caesar’s wife you wait, we are starving. Your principles are bitter. We can’t taste it. We feel convenient to be served of a voluptuous dish without bitterness of principles. We have been starved of power for the last five years that we want to enjoy it.”
Maybe, this is one way of looking at it. But the reality remains far from the convenient practices now being adopted by the government, which has come to power after the people voted against the alleged corruption of the UDF. The Director General of Prosecution is to lead the prosecution in the State. He would also be scrutinising the trials and conduct of the same in the whole State. In a way, he is then supposed to monitor the fairness of trials and the prosecution, being mooted by the police personnel.
The Hon’ble Apex Court in Commissioner of Police .v. Mehar Singh held that the appointment of the police personnel, if found to be chargesheeted in a criminal case, even if acquitted though not exonerated fully, would be bad in law. Extending the principles to the prosecutors, and that too to the pivotal post of Director General of Prosecutions, all that can be said is please don’t kill the Communist in you. There should be fairness as well.
Lakshmi N. Kaimal is an Advocate practicing in the Supreme Court of India.