CM's Distress Relief Fund 'misuse': High Court refuses to intervene ahead of Lok Ayukta hearing

Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday refused to intervene in the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) misuse case which was to be considered by a Lok Ayukta full bench. The decision was taken by a bench headed by Chief Justice SV Bhatti.

A full bench of the Lok Ayukta will be hearing the case on June 6.

The petition against the misuse of the CMDRF was admitted by the Lok Ayukta in 2019 based on the majority judgment by a three-member bench over a split verdict of the two-member bench at the time. The issue is being referred to the full bench again as there was a difference of opinion in the two-member bench.

Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid had stated that the matter was being referred to a larger bench as there was a difference of opinion over whether the decisions of the cabinet can be subjected to its investigation and also on the merits of the case.

Public activist RS Sasikumar had filed the case in 2018, alleging misuse of the funds in the CMDRF. He had alleged that the money was given to those who were not eligible for relief. While a sum of Rs 25 lakh was granted to the family of NCP leader Uzhavoor Vijayan, the family of former Chengannur MLA KK Ramachandran Nair was given Rs 8.5 lakh. The family of a policeman who died in a car accident while accompanying former CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was given Rs 20 lakh as relief.

The plea to the anti-corruption ombudsman was filed by Sasikumar in September 2018 and the hearing ended on March 18, 2022.

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