Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has sought clarifications from the state government over a Cabinet decision recommending the release of 33 prisoners including Manichan, who was convicted in the Kalluvathukkal hooch tragedy case. Khan has returned the file seeking his nod for the Cabinet decision to the Chief Minister.
The Cabinet had decided to release prisoners who had completed their term of sentence based on a report of a panel headed by the Chief Secretary. Incidentally, even though an advisory committee exists under a former judge to oversee the matter, the government had bypassed this panel to recommend the release of Manichan and others.
While seeking details of the move to release the prisoners, the Governor has reportedly expressed doubts over the legal validity of the panel under the Chief Secretary.
Thirty-one persons had lost their lives and hundreds of others their vision after consuming spurious liquor at Kalluvathukkal in Kollam district back in the year 2000.
Initially, the government had planned to release 67 prisoners. However, the list was pruned to 33 after the Chief’s Secretary’s panel examined it. The Governor has now sought to know whether ineligible persons have been included and eligible prisoners excluded in the final list.
Meanwhile, the Governor has also not cleared two other ordinances promulgated by the Cabinet. One of them was for amending the Cooperatives Act and was reportedly intended to seize control over Milma. The other recommended formation of a special recruitment board for public sector undertakings.