Life Mission scam: CBI to quiz Sivasankar on Thursday


M Sivasankar | Photo: Binu Lal G/ Mathrubhumi

Kochi: CBI will interrogate M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as part of the probe into the controversial Life Mission Scam. According to reports, CBI has summoned Sivasankar for interrogation on Thursday at 10 am.Sivasankar has been asked to report to the CBI office in Kochi.

Earlier, CBI recorded the statement of Swapna Suresh, the accused in the gold smuggling case twice in connection with the probe into the Life Mission scam. Following this, the CBI team summoned Sivasankar for an interrogation.

The case involves the alleged violation of foreign contributions regulations in the Kerala government's flagship Life Mission project. The CBI is probing the misappropriation of money contributed by Dubai-based voluntary organization Red Crescent for constructing houses for 140 poor families.

The CBI has booked Santhosh Eapan of Unitac Builders, which bagged the contract of the project, and carried out searches at his office and residence in Kochi.

Congress MLA Anil Akkara had filed a complaint with CBI alleging fraudulence in the Life Mission project. It was said in the plaint that the contracts of the project including that with UAE-based Red Crescent were illegal.

The FCRA violation and corruption in the project snowballed into a big political issue in Kerala with Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleging that Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case, had admitted before an NIA court that she had received Rs 1 crore as commission from the project.

Earlier, Officials including Life Mission CEO UV Jose were interrogated in the case. In the charge sheet, the customs had named Sivasankar as the 6th accused in the case. A total of Rs 18.50 cr was raised for the Life Mission project. But only Rs 14.50 cr was utilized for the construction of the apartments. It is alleged that the rest of the amount was distributed as bribe money among the officials.

(with inputs from agencies)

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