Anitha Pullayil in Assembly: Speaker admits 'mistake', sacks four contract employees

Anitha Pullayil snapped at Loka Kerala Sabha. Photo: Screen grab/MMTV

An official probe into the presence of controversial Italy-based non-resident Keralite Anitha Pullayil within the Kerala Assembly premises, when the three-day Loka Kerala Sabha was on, has found that she had not been anywhere near the Sankara Narayanan Thampi Hall, where the LKS was held.

Nonetheless, the probe conducted by the Chief Marshal of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, found that Pullayil, who became notorious as a close associate of fake antique seller Monson Mavunkal, was within the Assembly premises on June 18 and 19.

Based on the Chief Marshal's report, Speaker M B Rajesh said that action would be taken against four contract employees of Sabha TV, Kerala Legislature's in-house channel.

"We have asked the private agency (providing technical assistance to Sabha TV) to remove the employees from the Assembly premises," the Speaker told reporters on Friday.

According to the probe report, it was a female employee of the private agency who ushered Pullayil into the Assembly.

Anitha Pullayil in Assembly: Speaker admits 'mistake', sacks four contract employees
Anitha Pullayil with Monson Mavunkal. File photo

The Speaker said Pullayil had used an 'open forum' pass to gain entry. He said an open forum pass was not a personal invite. "We had given out 500 open forum passes, 250 for non-resident Keralites and another 250 for students through the Malayalam Mission. She might have got hold of one of these passes," the Speaker said.

He once again reiterated that the Assembly had not invited Pullayil.

The probe report said that the Watch and Ward staff of the Assembly allowed Pullayil entry into the Assembly verandah because she came with the female contract employee who had both the Assembly pass and the organiser pass of the Loka Kerala Sabha. "The Watch and Ward staff were not even aware who this female was," the Speaker said.

Even then, the Speaker said this should not have happened. "It was a failure," he said.

Three other contract employees of the private agency were also penalised because they were present whenever Pullayil was inside the Sabha TV room. The penalised are: Fazeela, Vibhuraj, Praveen, and Vishnu. All the four have admitted to their mistake.

The Speaker said no employee of the Legislature Secretariat had any role in Pullayil's entry. The Chief Marshal's report, after inspecting the CCTV footage, noted that Pullayil had interacted with several people along the Assembly verandah though she had not gone anywhere near the hall where the Sabha was held.

Regarding a Sabha TV interview with Pullayil, the Speaker said the Sabha TV editorial would take a call. "The interview was taken before the controversy (Monson Mavunkal) erupted. I gather that the interview is still there. The editorial board has been asked to take a call," he said.

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