KOCHI: Coming down heavily on the Vigilance and Anti- corruption Bureau (VACB) for not registering case against controversial industrialist V M Radhakrishnan alias Chakku Radhakrishnan and others in the Malabar Cements corruption case, the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the VACB Director to register FIR against them within one week. If the VACB Director fails to register FIR, he would have to appear before the court in person to submit the legal position. “All are equals before the law, and nobody should be treated as more equal,” observed the court.
The VACB had conducted a quick verification against Prakash Joseph, legal officer, Malabar Cements (MCL); M Sundaramoorthy, former MD, MCL; V M Radhakrishnan, managing director, Ark Wood and Metal Pvt ltd and S Vadivelu, former executive director of Ark Wood, who are suspected to be involved in the case. It has been reported that financial irregularities to the tune of `2.70 crore were detected and cognisable offences of criminal misconduct, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy were proved against the suspected persons. In response to a petition filed by Joy Kaitharath of Thrissur, citing delay in registering case, the government pleader had informed that FIR had been registered in the case. The petitioner, however, informed the court that the VACB did not file any FIR against Radhakrishnan and others. Counsel for the petitioner John K George submitted that because of the involvement of Radhakrishnan, who has a big political clout, the petitioner was not expecting justice from government.
The court observed that instead of directing registration of the FIR, the Vigilance Director had slept on the matter and sent a report to the Additional Chief Secretary.
“On seeing the political clout of the accused, he cleverly ordered a Vigilance probe against only one of the accused,” it said.
The court pointed out that the VACB Director had clearly flouted the mandatory directives of the Supreme Court in the ‘Lalithakumari Case.’ After getting the report of the Director, the Additional Chief Secretary decided to exonerate all the other persons, except Prakash Joseph, by stating that it was the duty of the Comptroller and Auditor General to note down the irregularities, if any, in the matter. The court asked, “who is he to decide so?”
“This is a case where in the Director and the Additional Chief Secretary are stooping before the accused. It is not clear whether it is as per the directives of the government, or not.
“That cannot be expected from the government as well as the Director. The Director washes his hands by addressing the Additional Chief Secretary. This is not the way the matter ought to have been treated by the Director,” said the court.