THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Lok Ayukta has sent notices to Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel and chief secretary Vishwas Mehta on a petition on the controversial food relief kit distribution. The court asked them to file affidavits as part of the preliminary probe before admitting the petition.
The petitioner AM Rohith of Malappuram alleged that Jaleel received the contribution from UAE Consulate for free food kit distribution without the prior sanction of the Union government. Further, Rohith said that these food items were discriminatively distributed to followers of the minister's party. He pleaded the court to declare Jaleel as ineligible to hold the posts of minister and MLA.
The minister and chief secretary have been asked to file their affidavits before August 27. The minister was asked to produce true copies of all communications he had with the UAE Consul General or his office in connection with the distribution of food bags.
The complainant said the UAE Consulate was a foreign source according to sec 2 (1)(j) of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010. Receiving contributions from the consulate was a violation of section 3(1)(d), 7, and 8 of the Act. The foreign contribution agreed by the consulate was food supplies worth Rs 5,02,500 and 1,000 bags priced at Rs 17,000.
The food items and bags were procured from shops of the minister's choice. It was kept in the party offices in Malappuram. There were no criteria or priority list to select beneficiaries and the kits were distributed among party members. The needy people belonging to SC, ST, and BPL categories were not considered, the petitioner said.