CMDRF misuse case: Plea filed in Kerala HC against Lok Ayukta division bench verdict

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Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: A plea has been filed against the Kerala Lok Ayukta verdict that referred the case over alleged violation of Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) to a 3-judge larger bench. Petitioner RS Sasikumar filed the plea before Kerala High Court through senior advocate George Poonthottam.

Earlier, RS Sasikumar had approached the Kerala High Court alleging a delay from Lok Ayukta in delivering the verdict despite completing the hearing. The court directed the petitioner to approach the Lok Ayukta instead.

Following this, he approached Lok Ayukta and the latter delivered the verdict last March. However, Sasikumar had set back as the Lok Ayukta division bench cited a split verdict by Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun Al Rashid, and referred the case to a 3-judge larger bench. His review petition before Lok Ayukta too got rejected. Sasikumar then maintained that he would challenge the Lok Ayukta's decision in Kerala High Court. The plea comes in this context.

The plea claimed that referring the case to a 3-judge larger bench is illegal. The stand of Lok Ayukta on the matter will dent public trust in the rule of law, the plea pointed. The same division bench heard the case should deliver the verdict, the plea noted.

A brief on the case
The plea was submitted to the anti-corruption ombudsman Kerala Lok Ayukta in September 2018 and the hearing concluded on March 18, 2022. It was presided over by Lok Ayukta Cyriac Joseph and Harun Al Rashid. The petition alleged nepotism and discrepancies in the allocation of Rs 25 lakh to the late NCP leader Uzhavoor Vijayan's family, Rs 20 lakh to Praveen's family, who was the deceased gunman of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, and the payment of personal debts owed by former MLA KK Ramachandran Nair.

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