Vigilance court initiates probe against KM Shaji; Kerala govt for inquiry against Chennithala

Vigilance investigates the disproportionate assets case booked against K M Shaji, while the government plans to conduct a probe against Ramesh Chennithala in connection with the bar bribery scam
Vigilance court initiates probe against KM Shaji; Kerala govt for inquiry against Chennithala

The Vigilance Court ordered the department to register a probe against IUML MLA KM Shaji. The court ordered the probe based on a complaint by social worker and advocate MR Harish, who claimed that Shaji had amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. Vigilance Court judge KV Jayakumar issued the order to Kozhikode Vigilance SP to conduct a preliminary probe into the case.

Shaji is currently facing an inquiry regarding an allegation that he received a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from an aided school management in Azhikode to upgrade the school's status from High School to Higher Secondary School. Shaji’s houses in Kozhikode and Kannur were measured as per the direction of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED is trying to determine if he amassed his wealth as part of the bribery case.

The Kozhikode City Corporation has found that that there was illegal construction at Shaji’s house in Kozhikode. While the MLA had obtained permission for building a 3,200-sq-foot house, the total area of the house, when constructed, was around 5,550 square feet. The Corporation served Shaji a notice to demolish the house citing violation of norms. The Corporation had also rejected the MLA's application requesting a regularisation of the house plans. They have asked him to submit a fresh application with corrections.

Shaji’s wife, Asha, was summoned by ED today to record her statement regarding a house registered in her name in Kannur and other properties . The Directorate also questioned TT Ismail, IUML league leader and former member of PSC, in connection with the bribery case today. ED will be questioning Shaji tomorrow.

A few days ago, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had accused DGP Loknath Behera of trying to silence opposition MLAs such as KM Shaji, PT Thomas and VD Satheeshan who have pointed out the government’s corruption, by registering cases against them

Meanwhile, a probe against Chennithala is planned in the wake of fresh charges by hotelier Biju Ramesh in connection with the bar bribery case. The Secretary in charge of vigilance, Sanjay Kaul, in order to get a nod to the probe, handed over a file on it to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed. The Governor’s permission is needed for an inquiry against the chief minister, ministers and representatives as per the amendment to Prevention of Corruption Act. The decision is however on a pause as the Governor is down with Covid-19 and has been moved to the Medical College.

The NationWide