Kerala Speaker refers privilege plaint against Issac to panel

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2 In an unprecedented action, Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan on Wednesday referred a breach-of-privilege complaint against Finance Minister Thomas Issac to the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House.

The Committee will take up this issue on Friday.

The Kerala units of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been demanding his resignation of for allegedly "lying and violating the oath of secrecy by deliberately leaking Comptroller and Auditor General of India's (CAG) report" on Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board to the media last month.

Issac initially maintained that it was a "draft report" but when the CAG pointed out that it was not a draft but original report, he said that it was an "oversight". The opposition then approached the Speaker that Issac had breached House privilege by breaking all rules and procedures.

Issac met the Speaker and gave his explanation in writing. After going through the explanation, the Speaker referred the matter to the Committee, a first-of-its-kind development since generally the matter is closed after Minister concerned gives his explanation.