Kochi: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) investigating the disproportionate assets case against additional chief secretary (labor) Tom Jose, submitted before the court on Monday that the bank accounts of the senior IAS officer and his family friend Anitha Joseph had been frozen as part of the investigation.
The bank accounts were frozen pending verification, and lockers have been sealed, the VACB informed the Muvattupuzha vigilance court.
Apart from the details of the bank accounts, property documents and other important files recovered during the raids at flats owned by Tom Jose and his relatives in Thiruvananthapuram and Irinjalakuda were also submitted to the court.
They included as many as 204 documents pertaining to bank transactions and most of the dealings were between Tom Jose and Anitha Joseph, official sources said. Details of a number of fixed bank deposits of several lakhs were also produced by the agency.
The VACB examined 20 bank accounts held either by Tom Jose or Anitha Joseph.
According to officials, the Vigilance will file a petition at the court, requesting a search warrant to open and verify the bank lockers.
The documents were seized during vigilance inspections at his flats at Vellayambalam in Thiruvananthapuram and at Palarivattom in Kochi, as well as at office at the secretariat, and the villa in Irinjalakuda.
The vigilance registered a case against Tom Jose based on a complaint by activist Payachira Navas who alleged that as a public servant his assets were beyond the known sources of his legitimate income during the 2010-16 period.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that VACB would delay the submission of the report to the government on the investigation against Tom Jose.
Official sources said that vigilance director Jacob Thomas did not want to submit the report before Thursday as he wanted more time for further examination of the documents seized.
Notably, the case against Jacob Thomas for taking up assignments outside government without permission will come up for hearing on Thursday.
The complaint against him was that he had profited privately by taking classes for students of a private college without prior permission of the government during his tenure as the managing director of the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Ltd (KTDFC).
The court will consider the appeal requesting a CBI enquiry into the case. Earlier, the CBI had expressed its willingness to take up the investigation.
Sources close to Jacob Thomas said that he would recommend disciplinary action against another official only after the court’s ruling on the charges leveled against him. Also, he has been occupied with the preparation of an affidavit required to submit in the court in connection with the case against him.
Even as the verification of the documents recovered from Tom Jose’s flats and office is under way, the vigilance team has approached bank authorities to get details of some other important documents. The final report will be prepared only after completing the verification process, sources added.
Moreover, a special vigilance team will scrutinize the alleged land deals in Maharashtra involving Tom Jose. The team will record statements of the person from who Tom Jose allegedly purchased the land and investigate the source of money used for the deals.
The vigilance has already instructed the Ernakulum special cell to approach the concerned wing of the Income Tax Department to obtain details of his financial dealings over the past six years.
The probe into the land deal allegations will be a great challenge for the vigilance since a high-level team headed by additional chief secretary (home) Nalini Netto had given a clean chit to Tom Jose following a thorough investigation earlier.
Interestingly, Jacob Thomas will be submitting the report recommending disciplinary actions against Tom Jose to none other than Nalini Netto.