Kerala Finance Minister to appear before the Ethics Committee

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac

For the first time in the history of Kerala, a minister has to appear before the ethics and privilege committee. In connection with the report leaked in the CAG report, the ethics and privilege committee would demand an explanation from the Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.

Thomas Isaac on Monday, called on speaker Sreeramakrishnan to explain his part after the opposition moved a breach of privilege notice against him for leaking the CAG report, which according to the minister questioned the constitutional validity of KIIFB. The minister held discussions with the speaker for around an hour and handed over a written explanation, running into half a dozen pages, on the basis of which the speaker has taken further action on the breach of privilege notice moved by Congress MLA and public accounts committee chairman VD Satheesan. Isaac later told reporters that he has informed the speaker about his willingness to appear before the ethics and privilege committee in connection with the report leak. Isaac has been reiterating his stand that he was willing to face whatever action, which the speaker deemed fit, for speaking about the content of a CAG that according to rules should be first placed in the assembly.

Isaac claimed that he was under the impression that CAG would seek government’s opinion before making adverse comments on such important matters. He stuck to his original claim that he mistook the final report for a draft and was aware about its finality only later on. “I’m ready to accept any punishment. I’m ready to explain my part before the privileges and ethics committee, provided the speaker chooses to do so,” he added.