13 Sep 2023 8:29 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday orally observed that it cannot order a probe against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the CMRL bribery case, unless the allegations against him disclose a prima facie offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.CM Pinarayi's daughter Veena Thaikandiyil is the prime accused in the case. It is alleged that she received kickbacks through...
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday orally observed that it cannot order a probe against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the CMRL bribery case, unless the allegations against him disclose a prima facie offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
CM Pinarayi's daughter Veena Thaikandiyil is the prime accused in the case. It is alleged that she received kickbacks through her company Exalogic Solutions in connection with the mining and other business interests of the Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL).
Justice N. Nagaresh was hearing a revision petition filed against dismissal of a complaint in this regard. Thea plea sought to probe high ranking public officials of the State including the CM, leader of the Opposition and Congress MLA Ramesh Chennithala, MLA Kunhalikutty, former Minister for Public Works V.K. Ibrahim Kunju, and A. Govindan.
CMRL, its Managing Director Sathivilas Narayan Kartha Sasidharan Kartha, the Chief Financial Officer K.S. Suresh Kumar and the Chief General Manager of Finance and Company Secretary P. Suresh Kumar are alleged to have given out bribes for illegal gratification.
Petitioner Gireesh Babu claims that Income Tax Authorities had unearthed evidence revealing illicit relationship between the company officials and several politicians, particularly those arrayed as the accused. Allegedly, Veena received Rs. 5 lakh whereas her company received kickbacks worth Rs. 3 lakhs, on a monthly basis. The transactions were apparently based on a fake agreement for software services.
Babu's counsel Advocate B.A. Aloor argued that mere allegation that the Chief Minister was involved in bribery was sufficient to issue a direction for investigation and whether a prima facie case is made out or not was a matter to be decided after the probe was over. He thus prayed the matter to be sent back to the Vigilance court so that a direction could be issued to the petitioner to obtain sanction in the matter.
The Vigilance Court had dismissed the petitioner's complaint on finding that there was no prima facie case, but that only general allegations were made.
"In this petition, apart from the general allegations made, complainant has not furnished any material facts which will show that respondents 2 to 6 had given any favors to 8" respondent in their capacity as public servants in return for the alleged payments. There is no case for the petitioner that any of the respondents had officially dealt with any matters pertaining to 8" respondent. Apart from making a general statement that the payments are bribery for consideration, the complaint does not disclose the material particulars which will show a prima facie case of commission of offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Complaint also does not say which offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 is committed by respondents," the Court had observed while dismissing the Complaint.
It is challenging the above order that the petitioner filed the present revision petition, on the ground that the trial court had failed to consider the facts and circumstances of the case.
The Court has posted the matter for further consideration on September 18 (Monday).
Case Title: Gireesh Babu v. State of Kerala & Anr.
Case Number: Crl. Rev. Pet. 890/ 2023