Vigilance arrests village officer for not remitting donations to CM's relief fund

Representational Image. Photo: IANS

Kottayam: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, Kerala, has arrested the Kaduthuruthy village officer, Saji T Varghese, for unauthorisedly keeping in his possession money received as donations to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

The Vigilance found that Saji had not remitted to the CMDRF the donations that were handed over at the Kaduthuruthy village office by 9 persons between August 15, 2018, and September 17, 2019 and that he had illegally kept the money in his personal possession.

The investigating team will submit a report to the Director of Vigilance seeking approval for taking action against Saji.

Earlier, there were a host of complaints against the village officer, accusing him of accepting gifts from applicants for various services and taking bribes from those who were carrying out illegal mining of sand.

An inspection was conducted in the village office under the leadership of the Deputy Superintendent of Police P V Manoj Kumar in the wake of these allegations. It was when the team questioned Saji about the amount that was found in his position that it was revealed that he had kept with himself the money donated to the distress relief fund by persons within the jurisdiction of the village office. The donations were made during the major back-to-back floods that struck Kerala in 2018 and 2019.

The Vigilance found that he had committed misappropriations amounting to Rs 10 lakh.

It was also found that Saji has been stay put at Kaduthuruthy though he had been transferred to the village office at Kidangoor in the same district.  

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