UDF Candidate and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MLA KM Shaji has said that he has documents proving the source of the money seized from his homes during the Vigilance raid on Monday. He alleged that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wants to take revenge on him through the vigilance raids.
“Despite Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s police chasing after me with constant raids, I kept the money at home as it was accounted. I do not own any illegal assets,” Shaji said, adding that he can place the documents to prove the source of money before any probe agency.
On Monday, the Vigilance & Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) conducted raids at Shaji’s homes at Kannur and Kozhikode. According to reports, the raids began after the Kozhikode unit of VACB had earlier registered a case against the MLA for accumulating assets disproportionate to the known sources of income. The VACB informed the Vigilance Court that Shaji’s wealth has increased by 166% over his income. The raids began at 7 am and ended at 11 pm.
The UDF candidate claimed that the VACB is conducting a prejudiced investigation against him. Shaji said that he could not deposit the money as the bank was closed for three consecutive days. “Since I am contesting in the elections, the Vigilance team reached my house under the impression that I will have money. They must return the money taken from me as it is legal,” he said.
The Vigilance report pointed out that Shaji has assets and savings amounting to 166% higher than his known income source. The highest increase in assets was marked between 2011 and 2020. Shaji's income was Rs 83,57,452 during this period while his total assets mark Rs 2,03,80,557.
Earlier, activist MR Hareesh had informed the court that Shaji amassed disproportionate assets. He approached the court when probe officials didn't file a case against Shaji even after having enough evidence on illegal assets. However, following Hareesh's petition, the Vigilance has submitted a report in the court confirming that initial evidence suggests that Shaji gathered illegal assets.
MR Hareesh had filed a petition citing that there was a wide disparity in the details of assets submitted by Shaji in his poll affidavit over the total expense in the construction of his luxurious house. Based on the plea, the department has also found that Shaji's house is worth Rs 1.62 crore.