Kochi: Kerala State police chief constituted a Special Investigation Team on Wednesday to probe the case registered against Adv Saiby Jose Kidangoor at the Ernakulam Central police station. Kidangoor, who is also an officer-bearer of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, allegedly collected money from his clients under the guise of settling cases in the High Court by bribing judges.
The SIT has been formed under the supervision of Crime Branch ADGP Darvesh Sahib. Kidangoor was booked under various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code, police said.
State police chief Anilkant's office said the case was registered based on the preliminary enquiry conducted by the Kochi City Police Commissioner.
"Ernakulam Central police have registered a case and initiated a probe against lawyer Saiby Jose Kidangoor over complaints that he collected money from his clients claiming that they were bribes for higher judicial officers," DGP's office said in a release.
It said the High Court Registrar had earlier written to the State police chief to probe into the allegations. Earlier, the Kerala Bar Council had sought an explanation from Kidangoor.
On January 19, the Union Law Ministry had forwarded to the Kerala Bar Council a complaint received by it against Kidangoor.
A section of lawyers alleged that the advocate has been collecting lakhs of rupees from his clients, claiming that they were kickbacks for certain higher judicial officers.
The Bar Council said the vigilance wing of the Kerala High Court has already inquired into the matter and submitted a report before the Full Court.
The Vigilance had earlier found evidence against Saiby and it recommended disciplinary proceedings by the Bar Council. It also advised initiating action against him as per the Advocates Act.
The Vigilance report states that Saiby had received bribes in the name of three judges: Justice Muhammed Mushtaq, Justice Siyad Rahman, and Justice P V Kunhikrishnan.
The report also states that Saiby possesses three luxury cars. A few advocates have deposed that Saiby received Rs 50 lakh in the name of one judge alone.
Kochi City Police Commissioner K Sethuraman is in charge of the investigation.
(With inputs from PTI)