Kerala Lok Ayukta rejects plea alleging misuse of CMDRF by CM Vijayan

The Kerala Lok Ayukta on Monday rejected a plea alleging misuse of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) by CM Pinarayi Vijayan and his cabinet colleagues.

The plea was dismissed by a three-member bench of Lok Ayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph and Upa-Lok Ayuktas Justices Babu Mathew P Joseph and Harun-Ul-Rashid.

The decision came on a plea by complainant R S Sasikumar who had alleged that the CM and his council of ministers had “abused their position as public servants, that they were actuated by personal interest and corrupt motives and that they were guilty of corruption, favouritism and nepotism”.

In March this year, Lok Ayukta Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid had referred the matter to a larger bench as there was a difference of opinion among them over whether the decisions of the cabinet can be subjected to its investigation and also on the merits of the case.

The Lok Ayukta had admitted the complaint in January 2019.

The complaint by Sasikumar had alleged “favouritism” in sanctioning financial aid from the fund to NCP leader late Uzhavoor Vijayan, former CPI(M) MLA, late K K Ramachandran Nair and to the family of Praveen a civil police officer who died in an accident while undertaking escort duty for ruling CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The complainant had sought disqualification of the Chief Minister and the other ministers for misusing the fund.

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