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HomekeralaKerala Lok Ayukta rejects plea alleging misuse of CMDRF by CM Vijayan

Kerala Lok Ayukta rejects plea alleging misuse of CMDRF by CM Vijayan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Lok Ayukta has dismissed a petition against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the alleged irregularities in allotting funds from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) during the term of the first government led by him from 2016 to 2021.A three-member bench of the Lok Ayukta issued the order on Monday, citing that there was no nepotism and that the cabinet was entitled to take the decision.

Petitioner anti-corruption activist R S Sasikumar said that he would approach the High Court against the order. He also raised serious allegations questioning the integrity of the Lok Ayukta and two Upa Lok Ayuktas.While Lok Ayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph maintained that though there were procedural irregularities, there was no nepotism, Upa Lok Ayukta Justice Harul-Ul-Rashid maintained that impropriety of a decision taken by the council of ministers was outside the purview of the Lok Ayukta Act. Upa Lok Ayukta Babu Mathew P Joseph maintained that the complaint was not at all maintainable.Apart from Vijayan, 18 members of his previous ministry (2016-21) were also arraigned in the petition. The allegation pertained to sanctioning Rs. 20 lakh to a police official killed after a pilot vehicle of then CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan met with an accident, financial assistance of Rs. 25 lakh given to the family of deceased politician Uzhavoor Vijayan of NCP, and financial assistance of Rs. 9 lakh to the family of a deceased MLA K K Ramachandran Nair.Another petition filed by Sasikumar urging that the two Upa Lok Ayuktas should be dissuaded from hearing the case was also rejected. The petitioner alleged that the two Upa Lok Ayuktas had personal relations with former MLA Ramachandran Nair.

(Published 13 November 2023, 11:58 IST)

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