'Bizarre, Lok Ayukta was intimidated': Satheesan on CMDRF misuse case verdict

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VD Satheesan

Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader VD Satheesan on Friday raised doubts over the Kerala Lok Ayukta's verdict on a case pertaining to the alleged anomalies in granting aid from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) during Pinarayi Vijayan regime.

Earlier today, Lok Ayukta had referred the CMDRF case to a three-member bench due to a split verdict by Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun Al Rashid. Reacting to the development, Satheesan said that such a verdict questions the credibility of Lok Ayukta in the state.

"The case is referred to a three-judge full bench a year after finishing the trial proceedings. The verdict won't have come out if the complainant had not moved to the high court and later approached Lok Ayukta over the delay in pronouncing the verdict," he said. By terming the bench's split verdict as "bizarre," Satheesan alleged that Lok Ayukta was intimidated to pronounce a favourable verdict.

"KT Jaleel was employed with the knowledge of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to threaten and stop Lok Ayukta from pronouncing a verdict. Fearing this verdict, Chief Minister even moved a bill to amend Lok Ayukta in the assembly. However, the governor refrained from signing it. People have lost trust in the anti-corruption body," said Satheesan.

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