Kerala HC dismisses plea seeking CBI probe in CMDRF scam

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed the plea to hand over the investigation into the misuse of Kerala Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The Kerala government pleaded before the court that the probe by the state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VCAB) was in the primary stage and there was no need to hand it over to the CBI.

The court agreed with the claim made by the government and dismissed the plea. It was noted that the investigation was initiated by the government.

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Following an order from the Chief Minister’s Office, the Vigilance raided several government offices across Kerala in February. The raid was over the suspicion of fraud in dealing the CMDRF money. The probe unearthed organised crime involving doctors, government officials and middlemen. They looted CMRDF by making fake claims. Letters from MLAs were also used to get money. After the money is credited to the applicant's account, the scammers get their share.

The overall loss is yet to be calculated. Over 5000 applications are currently under the scanner.

VCAB is also working on developing a procedure to secure the CMDRF from further fraud.

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