New Delhi: February 21, 2011 – The Supreme Court on Thursday convicted and sentenced the former Kerala Congress(B) Minister, R. Balakrishna Pillai; the former Chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Ramabhadran Nair; and P.K. Sajeev, a close friend of Mr. Pillai, to one-year rigorous imprisonment in the Idamalayar Hydroelectric Power Project case.
A Bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan allowed a special leave petition filed by Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan (who was then the Leader of the Opposition) against a Kerala High Court judgment acquitting the three after reversing the trial court verdict awarding five years imprisonment to them. He filed the appeal since the State did not prefer an appeal against the acquittal.
The Bench said: â€œIt is our duty to point out that all the cases in which charges relating to corruption by public servants are involved, normally, take longer time to reach finality. Though the issue [in this case] was handled by a Special Court constituted for the sole purpose of finding out the truth or otherwise of the prosecution case, the fact remains it had taken nearly two decades to reach its finality.â€
The Bench said though the Government of India was making all efforts for expeditious disposal of cases of this nature by constituting Special Courts, however, â€œthe fact remains that it takes longer time to reach its destination.â€
When a matter of this nature was entrusted to a Special Court or a regular court, it was but proper on the part of the court concerned to give priority to the same and conclude the trial within a reasonable time. The High Court [concerned], having overall control and supervisory jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, was expected to monitor and even call for a quarterly report from the court concerned for speedy disposal. Read More