Vigilance took away donations received for poll campaign, says Shaji

KM Shaji
KM Shaji

Kozhikode: Legislator K M Shaji, who is also the Kerala state general secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), has claimed that the cash seized by Vigilance officials from his two houses was donations received to meet his election expenses and for his party.

Shaji was a candidate from the Azhikode Legislative Assembly constituency in Kannur district for the just-concluded state polls.

The Vigilance, which had reached Shaji’s two houses at 10am on Monday, completed their check only by 2 pm on Tuesday. After unearthing a total amount of Rs 47.65 lakh, officials are planning to question the MLA in connection with a case related to amassing illegal wealth. He would also be served with a notice to prove the source of the money.

While Rs 47,35,500 was found at Shaji’s house at Manali in Kannur, the remaining Rs 30,000 was seized from his residence at Maloorkunnu in Kozhikode. Officials also recovered gold weighing 59 sovereigns from the Kozhikode house and 7.5 sovereigns from Kannur. As many as 77 documents related to money transactions were also seized. Some foreign currency was also found from the Kozhikode house.

The Vigilance also collected details of Shaji’s foreign tours.

Meanwhile, Shaji remained firm on his stand that the money seized from his Kannur house was donations for his election work and money received in his capacity as IUML state general secretary. “I have the documents to prove the sources of the income,” he said.

The Vigilance is expected to submit details of the examination they carried out at Shaji’s houses at the court before initiating procedures to question him.

Case posted to April 23

At the same time, the Vigilance Court has postponed a hearing on the case registered against the MLA for amassing illegal income to April 23 as the judge is on leave. On Tuesday, the court was expected to consider a petition seeking that a case be registered against Shaji. However, the Vigilance had already booked Shaji on April 11 and the Court was informed of the matter on Sunday by the Superintendent of Police, Special Cell, Vigilance.

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