KOLLAM: The state government has recently come under fire for its half-hearted approach to fixing irregularities in the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) and playing down the corruption allegations raised in the procuring of low-quality raw cashew nuts from JMJ traders. Meanwhile, allegations are rife that the VACB inquiry into the complaint has been moving at a snail’s pace. However, VACB is all set to submit a Quick Verification Report(QVR) to the higher ups next week.
The Inquiry Officer (VACB Circle Inspector Jyothi Kumar) had submitted a Quick Verification Report in this regard in November. But the report was reciprocated for want of clarification. Though some officials termed it as ‘normal proceedings’, some suspect the involvement of Home Department to stonewall the inquiry.
“The Quick Verification report has found irregularities in the transaction. The prima facie evidence holds Corporation chairman R Chandrasekharan and Managing Director K A Ratheesh accountable. However, the report was sent back for further clarification on certain matters. "Meanwhile, the report, slated to be submitted next week, is supposed to be final and an FIR can be registered based on the report. But if the report gets send back again, it will further delay the procceedings,” said a VACB official.
The CBI inquiry into the petition seeking its urgent intervention into the corruption allegation worth Rs 500 crore is already under way.
The Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, while ordering the CBI inquiry, also considered the report submitted by Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) K M Abraham which sheds light into the murky deals of the Corporation.The VACB has seized a video footage of the sub-standard RAW cashew nuts and some files in connection with the transaction, giving the agency an edge over CBI. By the time the CBI gets into the thick of action, the Corporation officials will manage to paper over the cracks, said a VACB official.