Lokayukta clears Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in CMDRF fund misuse case

| Updated: 14 November, 2023 2:44 pm IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a significant development, the Lokayukta full bench has rejected a petition against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and 18 former ministers from the LDF-1 cabinet, relieving the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government from allegations of misusing the Chief Minister Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF).

The bench, after thorough consideration, ruled that there was no evidence to substantiate claims of CMDRF fund misuse. The court order emphasised that the Chief Minister has the authority to grant a maximum amount of Rs 3 lakh from the relief fund and that there is no indication of political motivation in the grant.

The petition, filed by Professor at MG University in Thiruvananthapuram RS Sasikumar on September 7, 2018, alleged misuse of CMDRF funds. Following a division bench disagreement, the Lokayukta entrusted the decision to a three-member bench on March 31.

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Leader of the opposition, VD Satheeshan, criticised the Lokayukta’s decision, expressing dissatisfaction with the outcome in favour of CM Vijayan and the cabinet ministers. He commented, “This order has set a wrong precedent where any person without proper procedures can be granted such funds. We will provide full legal support to the complainant in this case.”

In the complaint, Sasikumar contended that the aid distributed from CMDRF, including payments for educational expenses and appointments, amounted to fund misuse. He highlighted instances such as Rs 25 lakh paid for the education of the late  NCP leader  Uzhavoor Vijayan’s children; Rs 8.5 lakh given to the son of the late  Chengannur MLA Ramachandran Nair; and Rs 20 lakh, along with a government job and other benefits, provided to the widow of a civil police officer  Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was killed in an accident involving the pilot vehicle of the late CPM state secretary.

Despite the Lokayukta’s decision, RS Sasikumar has pledged to continue the legal battle, vowing to take the case to the Supreme Court of India. He alleged that the Lokayukta had been influenced by the government.

On the other hand, the CPI(M) welcomed the Lokayukta bench’s order, stating that it serves as a warning to those making misleading contentions against the government.

 

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