Kerala HC asks CBI to probe CM Chandy's personal staff for violating integrity, character
Coming down heavily on the office of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, the Kerala High Court on Friday held authorities at the helm of affairs in the state for not being "prudent and responsible" in appointing personal staff with integrity and character.
Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid delivered the 132-page judgement while allowing petitions in the land-grabbing cases in Thrikkakara and Kadakkampally in Thiruvananthapuram and ordered a fresh CBI probe in two land grabbing cases against Salim Raj, a former gunman of the CM.
The court asked the CBI to probe this matter and complete the task within nine months.
The involvement of Saritha Nair who is a key accused in a Solar panel scam case, and a personal staff of Chief Minister, the court held that all the incidents have "evoked shock and surprise" among people of the state.
The court held that prima facie evidence of the presence of "unscrupulous elements" among personal staff in the Chief Minister's office and associated criminal activities in these cases calls for a "thorough and independent" investigation.
The court said it was evident from records that Salim Raj, now under suspension and described by the petitioners as "gang leader of the land mafia" and his associates had held multiple meetings with landowners and had pressurised them to part with the land.
Salim Raj had also allegedly threatened the petitioners with dire consequences if their demands were denied. The same team was involved in both incidents and the method of operation was also same, the court pointed out.
It directed police officers in charge of investigation and the revenue officials to hand over all the case records, including vigilance enquiry report to CBI which shall commence further investigation and complete the same in nine months.
The Court asked CBI to register an FIR in Kadakampally case since no FIR was registered pursuant to the complaints. The probe agency shall investigate the case from all angles, take assistance of the petitioners, Revenue Intelligence, Vigilance and Anti corruption Bureau, Police and other agencies and submit a final report to the jurisdictional court.
(Posted on 28-03-2014)
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