The SIT probe into the allegations against Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty by his estranged relative K A Rauf in the ice-cream parlour sex scandal has established that the witnesses of the case (Cr No: 282/1997 of Nadakkavu Police Station) were bribed on various occasions. However, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) maintained that, apart from solitary deposition of K A Rauf, it could not gather ‘admissible and relevant evidence’ to substantiate that the money was given to the witnesses on behalf of Kunhalikutty, ‘despite earnest efforts’.
In the final report in the case (Cr No:59/2011 of Kozhikode Town Police Station), which was leaked to the media in Kozhikode on Thursday, the SIT has pointed out, “The investigation conducted in the case establishes that money was given by Rauf and Chelari Shereef to witnesses Rajeena, Rejula, Kunhubaby, K Bindu and Roslin. These witnesses also admitted that they accepted money at various points of time from Rauf and Shereef. However, the witnesses gave varying and inconsistent versions regarding the purpose for which they received money. Though Rauf furnished some details regarding the persons to whom he gave money on behalf of Kunhalikutty, the same could not be substantiated. Moreover, Rauf could not provide the date and persons in whose presence such financial transactions were made.”
Looking into the allegation that the witnesses were bribed at the instance of Kunhalikutty for not naming him in the case, SIT has pointed out that ‘there is no credible documentary evidence or eye witness account for any of the transactions. The report also noted that the ‘source, place, time and date of none of the transactions have been established in evidence and remain ambiguous.
Significantly, the report noted that the ‘wealth possessed by Rajeena does not commensurate with her known sources of income. However, there is no relevant documentary evidence or other documents including bank statements which reveal that money was received by the witness from Kunhalikutty. As per the report, Rajeena stated that she might have received nearly Rs 40 to Rs 50 lakh from Rauf.
While the probe revealed that the witnesses Rajeena, Rejula, Roslin and Bindu were tutored by an advocate at a house in Chalappuram to deal with the questions by the prosecutors during trial and the answers to be given, the report maintained that the ‘physical presence of P K Kunhalikutty in the house at Chalappuram could not be established’.
The SIT also found no substantive evidence regarding Rauf’s allegations that judicial officers were bribed to undermine the process of investigation and trial of the case. Rauf alleged that Rs 25 lakh was given to Justice K Thankappan through additional advocate general V K Beeran, Rs 20 lakh was given to the then Kozhikode Principal Assistant Sessions Judge L R Sathyan and Kunhalikutty paid Rs 5 lakh to son-in-law of Justice Narayana Kurup through former additional director general of prosecution K C Peter. But the report said the ‘vague and passing utterances purportedly made by K C Peter in the sting operation by India Vision Channel could be adduced.’
The report noted that ‘no definite conclusive and cogent conclusion could be arrived at’ to prove whether Kunhalikutty was liable for any legally punishable offence so as to screen himself in the case as the ‘statements of witnesses were inconsistent and unreliable.’
The report says that, Kunhalikutty, in his statement, ‘blatantly denied’ the allegations and ‘pleaded total innocence’ that he did not influence investigating officers, witnesses, or anybody else in the case. He added that, ‘he did not pursue the ice-cream parlour case as he was not an accused in it.’
The SIT submitted its final report before the Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate Court I on June 13 as per Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Court will consider the case on July 6.
* SIT looked into 11 major counts of allegations and eight minor allegations in the case registered on January 30, 2011, under sections 120(B), 109, 193, 214, 465 read with 34 IPC.
* Took statements of 142 persons including Justice K Thankappan, Justice K Narayana Kurup, former government pleader P C Iype, former Kozhikode mayors O Rajagopal and T P Dasan, retired Judge L R Sathyan, former Advocate General M K Damodaran, former additional advocate general V K Beeran, Works Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju and personal staff of Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan and minister P K Kunhalikutty.
* SIT also seized as many as 124 documents.