Political leaders involved in Palarivattom flyover graft: Vigilance to HC

During the custodial interrogation, he had not disclosed their identities and their roles.

Published: 24th September 2019 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2019 07:08 AM   |  A+A-

Palarivattom flyover

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Monday submitted before the Kerala High Court that Sumeet Goyal, managing director of RDS Project Ltd which constructed the Palarivattom flyover, is the axis of all conspiracy and he knew all those who had played vital roles in the conspiracy including political leaders. Opposing the bail plea of Goyal, VACB said as the accused was presently doing a series of constructions in the state, he was not willing to disclose the channel through which he handed over the bribe to the public servants, fearing troubles from the heavyweight political figures.

During the custodial interrogation, he had not disclosed their identities and their roles. If he was granted bail, he would definitely try to hinder the investigation to save the politically influential persons involved in the crime.Goyal had conspired with M T Thankachan, former AGM, Roads and Bridges Development Corporation, Kerala, (RBDCK); Benny Paul, joint general manager of Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO); and T O Sooraj, former PWD secretary, and misappropriated the money released from the public exchequer by not properly utilising the same for the construction but for their own pecuniary advantage which ultimately led to the poor condition of the flyover.

The flyover’s condition is now so poor that it can endanger the lives and property of the general public. During the period of flyover construction, Goyal was undergoing a financial crisis. To raise funds for tiding over the crisis, the construction company undertook the flyover work by quoting the lowest amount.
The VACB further said the IIT experts in their report pointed out certain serious defects in the construction.

The samples taken for the core test during the vigilance inquiry had proved that they had less concrete strength than expected. Of the 30 samples collected, only eight crossed the expected strength. The samples were tested at the Kerala Highway Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram. Therefore, the petitioner’s claim that there were no defects in the construction was false.

The VACB also refuted the petitioner’s allegation that the government had asked his company to complete the project within 18 months, though the period stipulated in the contract was 24 months. Goyal had alleged that this government directive had changed the fundamental nature of the contract. The VACB submitted that no document was traced from the officials of RBDCK or KITCO to prove this.

If the terms of the contract were changed, another agreement would have been signed between RBDCK and the petitioner. No such agreement was found during the investigation so far. It said the petitioner had jeopardised the lives of the innocent public. A series of agitations was on demanding to unearth the graft in flyover construction. If he was granted bail, it would send a wrong signal to the society, VACB said.The court will consider the bail plea on Tuesday.

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