Bribery case against CM Vijayan: Vigilance Court should have ordered initial probe, says amicus curiae

Kochi, Nov 2 , The amicus curiae appointed by the Kerala High Court to assist it in a case challenging a Vigilance Court’s refusal to order a probe into allegations of bribery and misuse of power by high-ranking public officials, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his daughter T. Veena, on Thursday pointed out that it was wrong on part of the Vigilance Court not to go for a preliminary inquiry.

The Vigilance Court had dismissed the petition stating that evidence was not there.

Akhil Vijay, theamicus curiae during his arguments on Thursday said the Vigilance Court’s order dismissing the petition filed byGireesh Babu seeking a probe was not acceptable.

Vijay pointed out that it was not right on the part of the Vigilance Court not to examine the order of the Income Tax Settlement Board which gave a full picture of what the case was all about.

He further said that the officials of the CMRL have also made their position clear on the payments, and hence the Vigilance Court should have taken all these aspects and ordered a preliminary probe.

But the counsel for the government opposed it tooth and nail and said that there was no merit in the case at all.

Babu passed away in September after the case came up before the high court. The court early this week decided to appoint an amicus curiae to help the high court to look into this case.

Incidentally Babu had decided to approach the Vigilance Court when a vernacular media a few months ago came out witha report that the findings of the Interim Board for Settlement-II of the Income Tax department,New Delhi indicated that offences under thePrevention of Corruption Act, 1988were committed by the accused persons including Vijayan and others.

The report pointed out that an “illegal payment” of Rs 1.72 crore was made by CMRL to Exalogic Solutions Private Limited, the IT firm owned by Veena and officials of the CMRL had testified that the payment was made and no services were offered.

The IT wing in its report had mentioned the names of top leaders, including Late Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Congress veteranRamesh Chennithalaand other politicians such asKunjali Kutty. It was also pointed out from the CMRL records that a politician with the initials ‘PV’ had alsoreceived money from CMRL.

While the Congress leaders and others openly admitted that they took political funding for their parties from CMRL, Vijayan dismissed it by saying that he was not the PV that was mentioned as there were many with that initial.

Babu was forced to approach the high court after the Vigilance court rejected his petitionon the ground that he did not have enoughmaterial facts to back up his claims.

The high court after hearing all the concerned parties on Thursday will now pass its orders in the case, which could have far reaching implications for Vijayan, if it asks for a preliminary probe.


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