Health Dept job fraud: One held for levelling bribery charges against minister's personal staff

Representational image. Photo: Shutterstock/Tinnakorn Jorruang

Thiruvananthapuram: Police on Wednesday arrested a man for levelling bribery charges against Akhil Mathew, personal staff of Health Minister Veena George, in a job fraud case. The arrest was made based on a complaint made by Akhil Mathew, who had denied the allegations and sought a detailed probe into the matter.

The accused, M K Raees of Kozhikode, allegedly created a fake email ID related to temporary appointments in the Ayush Mission, police said. Raees, who was arrested from Kozhikode, is also suspected of having had several monetary transactions with Akhil Sajeev, former office secretary of CITU, the trade union wing of the CPM, who is also accused of being involved in the bribery case, police said.

It said the investigation is going on to find out who else was involved in the alleged fraud that was highlighted by Haridasan, a resident of Malappuram district, last week and had triggered a political row in the state. Police had registered an FIR under IPC Sections 419 and 420 (cheating) based on the complaint by Mathew.

Haridasan had alleged that a personal staff member of the minister accepted Rs 1 lakh as a bribe for the appointment of his daughter-in-law as a government medical officer.

He had alleged, through the media, that a middleman approached him, saying the appointments of medical officers were being made through the minister's office, and asked him to pay a huge amount as a bribe in instalments. Haridasan had further alleged that a former office secretary of CITU in Pathanamthitta, who allegedly acted as a middleman, had also accepted a bribe for the said appointment. However, his daughter-in-law didn't get the job.

Terming the bribery charges against the Health Minister's personal staff as "serious", the opposition Congress had said corruption was thriving in all government departments in the state.
(With PTI inputs)

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