Coming down heavily on the state government for the delay in conducting Vigilance probe in the Thrikkakkara land grab case, allegedly involving Salim Raj, the former gunman of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to commence the probe in the case immediately.
The court also directed the Director of Vigilance to submit the preliminary probe report which touches all relevant matters within three weeks and asked to file the final report within three months.
Justice Harul ul-Rashid slammed the government for the lethargic attitude in probing the case and observed that despite reports of involvement of government officials and several reputed persons, including the Revenue Minister as well as the Home Minister, the State Police Chief, IG, Ernakulam and City Police Commissioner, no action has been taken. The complaints were not sent to the Director of the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau for necessary action so far, the court said.
The first complaint which was sent to the Home Minister on June 21 was about the misconduct of government officials and the criminal offences committed by some officers. However, the Vigilance Department has not so far initiated probe nor entrusted inquiry into the case to officers of any unit, the Court said and pointed out that absolutely no progress has been made in the matter of the Vigilance probe.
The court passed the order while considering the petitions filed by N A Sherifa of Pathadipalam, seeking CBI probe into the Thrikkakkara land grab case.
State Police Chief K S Balasubramanian had submitted that the representation by the petitioners before the Opposition leader was forwarded to him on July 5.
Senior Government Pleader Muhammed Shah submitted that the government has sought a report from the Revenue Department. The state government had taken timely action on the complaint, he submitted.
Based on the complaint, a case was registered on August 17.
As there were allegations against several government officials, the district police chief, on September 5, directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Thrikkakkara, to take over
the investigation into the case.
However the Court observed that the government is hiding something from the court regarding the alleged land grab and it was not taking appropriate action against the offenders.
“What has the state has done in the case,” the court asked.