13 Nov 2023 10:24 AM GMT
Full Bench of the Kerala Lok Ayukta on Monday rejected the plea against the Chief Minister and 18 others alleging misuse of the funds in the Chief Minister Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF). The petitioner, R.S. Sasikumar, had challenged the Cabinet decision taken on July 27, 2017, to give financial aid to the families of the deceased political leader Uzhavoor Vijayan and a deceased police...
Full Bench of the Kerala Lok Ayukta on Monday rejected the plea against the Chief Minister and 18 others alleging misuse of the funds in the Chief Minister Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF).
The petitioner, R.S. Sasikumar, had challenged the Cabinet decision taken on July 27, 2017, to give financial aid to the families of the deceased political leader Uzhavoor Vijayan and a deceased police officer, and also to write off the debts of the deceased political leader KK Ramachandran, and to give the son of the deceased leader a government job, in his plea filed in 2018.
The Bench comprising Lok Ayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph and Upa Lok Ayuktas Justice Harun Al Rashid and Justice Babu Mathew P. Joseph found that the Chief Minister is vested with the authority to allocate money from CMDRF.
The Lok Ayukta also rejected the plea by the petitioner seeking the Upa Lok Ayuktas to recuse themselves from the case.
Sasikumar had averred in his plea that the decisions taken by the State Government in:
firstly, giving financial assistance to the family of late Uzhavoor Vijayan by sanctioning a a total amount of Rs.25 lakhs from the CMDRF towards his medical expenses, and the educational expenses of his two children;
secondly, sanctioning necessary amount from the CMDRF for clearing the arrears of loans taken by late Advocate K.K.Ramachandran Nair, MLA, from Government recognized institutions and providing a government job to his son; and
lastly, sanctioning a financial aid of Rs.20 lakhs from the CMDRF to the legal heirs of late Civil Police Officer P. Praveen, who died in a motor accident while performing escort duty for the former Home Minister and State Secretary of CPI (M) late Kodiyeri Balakrishnan,
were actuated by corruption, favouritism, and nepotism. It was also alleged that the respondents lacked integrity in discharging their duties as public servants.
After deciding the issue of maintainability in favour of the complainant, members of the Lok Ayukta and Upa Lok Ayukta had demitted their office and after a gap, appointments had been made to fill up the vacancies. After elaborate hearing, covering all the points, the case had been reserved for orders on March 18, 2022.
As no order was pronounced in the case since being reserved for orders, Sasikumar filed a plea before the High Court challenging the said 'unexplained' delay.
Subsequently, on March 31, 2023, the Lok Ayuktha had delivered its order referring the matter to be considered by a Full Bench.
The High Court in this light, dismissed Sasikumar's plea, stating that in view of the difference of opinion between the Lok Ayuktha and Upa Lok Ayuktas, the only option would be to refer the matter in order to decide the same by three members, whereby the decision of the majority would prevail.