KOCHI: The High Court on Wednesday directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to file a report explaining the progress of the investigation into the Palarivattom flyover graft case, including the role of each accused.
The court orally observed that the plight of Palarivattom flyover reminds one of the famous Malayalam film Panchavadippalam in which the bridge collapses on the day of inauguration.
Justice P Ubaid issued the order on the bail pleas of Sumeet Goyal, managing director, RDS Project Ltd; M T Thankachan, former AGM, Roads and Bridges Development Corporation, Kerala (RBDCK); Benny Paul, joint general manager, KITCO; and T O Sooraj, former secretary, Public Works Department, who are the first, second, third and fourth accused, respectively, in the case. The VACB alleged that all accused persons made undue pecuniary advantage and thereby compromised on the quality of the construction. When the petitions came up for hearing, the court observed that it appears that no supervision was done by the officials concerned. “Who is responsible for it and who supervised the work?” the court asked.
A Rajesh, special public prosecutor, VACB, submitted that there was sufficient material to prove the involvement of the accused. More arrests are likely to happen in the case and the investigation is under way, he said.
Opposing the bail plea of first accused Sumeet Goyal, public prosecutor Suman Chakravarthy submitted that there was widespread corruption in the construction of the flyover and the work was completed putting the lives of the public in danger. The accused compromised on the quality of construction.
Sumeet Goyal informed the court that he was not directly involved in the execution of the construction work and, as such, he did not have any personal involvement in the technical aspect. (Goyal has been in custody since August 30.) The FIR was registered without proper evaluation by any expert engineer and technicians and without conducting the load test. The Vigilance inquiry and registration of FIR were only due to political pressure. According to him, there was no major defect in the bridge and defects noted could be rectified, which he was ready and willing to do.
Accused seek bail
Sumeet Goyal, managing director, RDS Project Ltd; M T Thankachan, former AGM, Roads and Bridges Development Corporation, Kerala (RBDCK); Benny Paul, joint general manager, KITCO; and T O Sooraj, former secretary, Public Works Department, who are the first, second, third and fourth accused, respectively, in the flyover graft case filed bail petitions in the court