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Kerala Life Mission rip-off: CBI can probe however legal legal responsibility cannot be prolonged to politicians, says HC

Specific Information Service

KOCHI: The Kerala Excessive Court docket on Tuesday granted permission to the CBI to proceed the investigation within the alleged Overseas Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violations over funds obtained from a international sponsor for implementation of the Life Mission housing challenge at Wadakkancherry in Thrissur district.

The case regarding the Life Mission, the Kerala authorities’s flagship housing challenge for the homeless, includes a corruption allegation into the award of the contract to assemble 144 residences in Thrissur district’s Wadakkancherry to Unitac, a development firm, on the behest of M Sivasankar, the then principal secretary of the chief minister in 2019. For this objective, Dubai-based Pink Crescent signed an MoU with the Life Mission to offer monetary assist (AED 10 million or Rs 20 crore) to construct the dwellings, the contract for which was given to Unitac.

Justice P Somarajan in his order additionally indicated the position of senior authorities officers within the alleged corruption within the housing challenge saying the “very nature of the mischief accomplished in furtherance of MoU would counsel the involvement of extremely educated professionals – a mastermind behind it”.

The courtroom, nevertheless, made it clear that legal legal responsibility can’t be prolonged to political executives together with the chief minister, ministers, and legislatures merely on the bottom that they’ve taken a coverage determination to implement the challenge.

The courtroom additionally vacated the keep for the probe whereas dismissing the petition filed by the CEO of LIFE Mission and Santhosh Eappen, MD of Unitac searching for to quash the FIR towards them.

The courtroom identified that it was a identified incontrovertible fact that the LIFE Mission is a challenge formulated and launched by the state authorities based mostly on a coverage determination. “Then it’s as much as the civil servants, the non-political govt (everlasting govt) to implement it by due strategy of legislation. The standard nature of the info concerned within the case would reveal a excessive profile mental fraud performed in furtherance of MoU to keep away from an audit by CAG and to get kickbacks and gratifications,” the courtroom famous.

The job of the non-political govt is to make sure correct implementation of legal guidelines handed by the legislature and to “verify and steadiness” whereas formulating and implementing coverage choices underneath the legislation in power. The perform of IAS officers, who’re the everlasting govt (non-political govt), is to help the political govt (the chief minister, ministers, and the legislature) to formulate and execute coverage choices, in addition to the executive issues, the courtroom mentioned.

The officers’ failure to deal with the difficulty or mischief, if any, within the matter of its implementation of the housing challenge, can’t, by itself, be a floor to increase any legal legal responsibility towards the political govt, until the identical was dropped at their discover with its authorized penalties in writing or by meaning they’ve obtained a private profit with information of the breach or mischief accomplished.

“Even proactive steps taken by the political govt within the implementation of the challenge/coverage choices could not, by itself, make them accountable for any legal legal responsibility, particularly in a case of this nature, whereby a effectively designed and intelligently hidden agenda was scrupulously employed by the civil servants in connivance with the intermediary, the Consulate Common of UAE, Trivandrum, until it was identified or made identified to them with its authorized penalties laid out in writing by the civil servants, who’re certain to do it by exercising a wholesome confrontation,” noticed the courtroom.

On this case, it seems that the alleged violations have been on the time of implementation of a part of the LIFE Mission challenge by the everlasting members connected to it – the IAS officers with Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair, Sarith, Santhosh Eappen and their allies. “The mere truth {that a} coverage determination was taken by the chief minister, the ministers or the legislature, could not by itself be ample to increase legal legal responsibility towards them for the improper accomplished by the non-political govt connected with the challenge and their allies,” it mentioned.


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