Amicus curiae favours prelim probe against CM Pinarayi Vijayan, daughter Veena

The charges were backed by cogent material which was part of valid judicial proceedings, the amicus curiae said.  
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo | EPS)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo | EPS)

KOCHI:  The High Court-appointed amicus curiae on Thursday submitted that it was incorrect on the part of the Special Court, Muvattupuzha, to reject the petition seeking a vigilance probe into the alleged illegal financial transaction between Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his daughter T Veena, and also the money given to certain UDF leaders.

Considering the materials produced along with the complaint, the Special Court ought to have referred the complaint for a preliminary inquiry into the allegations, said advocate Akhil Vijay, amicus curiae appointed by the HC to assist it on a petition filed by the late social activist Gireesh Babu challenging the vigilance court’s order.

The Special Court had held that without sufficient materials, a proceeding against a public servant on allegations of commission of offences under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act cannot be initiated. 
It also stated that the materials produced along with the complaint do not disclose sufficient details which will show that any of the political leaders committed any offences under the PC Act.

The amicus curiae pointed out that the reasoning that there were only vague allegations and no material to substantiate the same is incorrect as the court has not considered the order of the Interim Settlement Board, New Delhi, in which many admissions were made by officers of the company that would disclose offences under PC Act. The charges were backed by cogent material which was part of valid judicial proceedings, the amicus curiae said.  

‘Not enough material to probe complaint’

A preliminary inquiry should have been ordered to ascertain the veracity of the allegations. If the allegations were found wrong during the investigation, it was well and good. The plea for a vigilance probe was dismissed on the sole premise that there was no prima facie material to substantiate the charges, the amicus curiae stated.

The allegation was that the company made illegal payments to overcome the threats and obstruction caused to its smooth functioning. Besides, the question of obtaining sanction from the government under the provision of the PC Act as the accused are public servants would arise only when the vigilance court decides to proceed with the investigation after the preliminary investigation found substance in the allegations, the amicus curiae said.

The amicus curiae pointed out that the company’s officers were deposed before the Interim Board and the payments were made to the members of political parties for the smooth functioning of their business. The state government argued that there was no sufficient material to probe into the complaint and there was no allegation that these public servants have abused their position. The court reserved its order on the petition after the conclusion of the arguments.

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