The Kerala High Court on Monday has denied bail to former Kerala PWD Minister Ebrahim Kunju in the Palarivattom Flyover case. However, the Single Judge-bench of PV Kunhikrishnan, while issuing the order, added that the MLA could file a fresh petition as soon as he is discharged from the hospital where he is undergoing treatment for several illnesses.
Kunju’s counsel Raman Pillai submitted that the minister since engaged in various other projects, had little role in the project. “During his tenure as a minister, he had signed the documents only after they were vetted by respective Secretaries. No discrepancies were pointed out to him at any point,” claimed Raman Pillai.
However, the state attorney had argued that they needed to question the former minister on the bribe and the payment of an advance in the projects. The attorney asserted that while paying advance is normal in other departments, it was legally barred in the Public Works Department. On the other hand, he maintained that Kunju could stay in the hospital instead of a prison considering the latter’s health.
Previously, the MLA had rushed to a private hospital in Kochi as soon as the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had set eyes on him. The Vigilance Court in Muvattupuzha had denied bail to Kunju but imposed restrictions on the investigative officers. The Court had added that the officers must not impede medical treatment, need to give adequate rest between questions, and cannot resort to force or harassment to get answers.