Controversy erupts over Lokayuktha judges participating in CM’s Iftar

Pinarayi Vijayan | File Photo: Manorama
Pinarayi Vijayan's iftar was held on last Tuesday. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The presence of the Lok Ayuktha Justice and Upa Lok Ayuktha judge at the Iftar hosted by the CM has triggered a controversy.

Sasi Kumar, the complainant in the case against the Kerala Chief Minister alleging misuse of funds in the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Funds (CMDRF), said that he does not expect justice to be served by the Lok Ayuktha judges who participated in the Iftar. This incident has caused me to lose trust in the judiciary as a complainant.

Even as the CMDRF case which is keenly followed by the whole nation is pending with the Lok Ayuktha, the presence of Lok Ayuktha judges in an Iftar hosted by the CM, who is the accused in the case, is an insult to the judiciary.

I do not expect a favourable verdict from this Lok Ayuktha, Sasi Kumar said.

Iftar is a get-together for friends. The Opposition Leader and other political leaders can participate. However, those who are part of the judiciary are not like that. In the official press hand-out regarding the CM’s Iftar, the names or the pictures of these Lok Ayuktha judges were not listed among the participating VIPs.

This clarifies the Government itself was convinced that the Lok Ayuktha and Upa Lok Ayuktha’s participation in the Iftar was not right. This action indicates that the Lok Ayuktha has completely fallen under the influence of the Government.

It is a challenge to the democratic system. R S Sasi Kumar said, even if the Government officially invited the Lok Ayukthas, they should have refrained from participating in such programmes.

The CM’s Iftar was held on last Tuesday.

CMDRF case
The Full Bench of Lok Ayuktha is to consider the case on the alleged misuse of the funds in the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Funds (CMDRF) on 12th. The Full Bench comprises the Lok Ayuktha justice and 2 Upa Lok Ayuktha judges.

The case, which was heard by Lok Ayuktha Justice Cyriac Joseph and Upa Lok Ayuktha Justice Haroon Al Rashid, was referred to the Full Bench’s consideration as the judges differed in their opinions.

The complaint filed by R S Sasi Kumar, in 2019, pertains to the alleged misuse of funds from the CMDRF during the first term of the Pinarayi Government.

The case, which was settled by the full bench earlier, was heard by a Division bench. It was referred to the Lok Ayuktha Full Bench’s consideration again.

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