THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The CBI has submitted the charge sheet pertaining to the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) scam accusing the INTUC state president R Chandrasekharan, former managing director of the corporation KA Ratheesh and the contractor Jaymon Joseph. The charge sheet was submitted in the special CBI court in Thiruvananthapuram slapping charges of cheating and conspiracy.
However, the investigation agency could not slap sections under the Prevention of Corruption act against the accused, as the state government did not give nod to the agency for prosecuting the accused in the Rs 600-crore scam in procuring inferior-quality raw cashew nuts from abroad.
Earlier, the CBI had approached the Kerala High Court stating that the state government had not properly appreciated the evidence forwarded and ignored the gravity of the offence while declining sanction to prosecute the accused.
The CBI report along with statements of witnesses and copies of documents was forwarded to the chief secretary for granting prosecution, but the government denied sanction. CBI made the submission in response to a petition filed by Kadakampally Manoj challenging the government order.
The state government appointed Ratheesh, who was removed from the post of managing director of INKEL, as the new secretary of Kerala Khadi Board (KKB) six months ago. He is accused of indulging in corruption while procuring raw cashew nuts between 2006 and 2015. The CBI team, which is investigating the case, had asked the state government to remove him from the office before the prosecution steps were initiated.
According to the case, KSCDC officials allegedly flouted norms in awarding the contract to supply raw cashew nuts to a private supplier with the intention of cheating the corporation.