CMDRF misuse: Lokayukta to consider petition against CM next week

Pinarayi Vijayan
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Attention turns to the Lokayukta as it is expected to give a verdict on a plea against the misuse of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) next Friday.

The delay in pronouncing a verdict even after one year since the completion of the hearing had put pressure on the Lokayukta.

In its defence, the Lokayukta had said the delay was due to a controversial bill that proposes to curtail its powers, which remains on the desk of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

Now, the Lokayukta will consider the case again on Friday. And the verdict, if not in favour of the Pinarayi government, could put the LDF in trouble.

The petitioner had alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other some of his ministers misused the CMDRF.

The petition claims corruption and nepotism behind the granting of Rs 25 lakh to the family of the late NCP leader Uzhavoor Vijayan, another Rs 20 lakh to the family of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s deceased gunman Praveen, and settling the personal debts of former MLA KK Ramachandran Nair.

The bench comprising Lokayukta Justices Cyriac Joseph and Harun Al Rashid heard the case.

The hearing on the plea that began on February 5, 2022, ended on March 18, 2022. The case was then adjourned for the verdict.

As per Order 20, Rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the verdict must be pronounced within 30 days from the day the hearing concludes. If the circumstances are exceptional and extraordinary, an additional 15 days may be taken.

Earlier, the same Lokayukta bench had delivered the verdict in a case related to former minister KT Jaleel leading to his resignation.

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