PSC scandal: Satheesan asks why FIR not filed, CM says there were no complaints

Opposition leader V D Satheesan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The alleged 'PSC member post for money' scandal once again animated the Assembly on Tuesday, July 9, this time leading to a walkout by the opposition UDF. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan stuck to his earlier position that corruption or bribery was not involved in the selection of PSC members and that if any double-dealing had taken place, strict action would be taken.
Opposition Leader V D Satheesan, on the other hand, charged that the CPM was trying to negotiate with the victims, return the money and settle the issue.   

If it was to a question by Muslim League MLA N Shamsudheen that the CM gave a brief response on July 8, it was the Opposition Leader who raised the issue on Tuesday, July 9, through a Submission. 
Satheesan wanted to know why the police had not registered a case and filed an FIR in an allegation that threw a cloud of suspicion over the functioning of a Constitutional body like the Public Service Commission.

Satheesan said that the charge was that a young CPM leader (CPM area committee member Pramod Kottoolli) had used the names of a minister (Mohammad Riyas), Kozhikode CPM district secretary (P Mohanan) and Kozhikode-based MLAs (M K Sachin Dev and Thottathil Raveendran) to accept money from a female doctor in return for a PSC member post.

Satheesan said it was possible that certain people could use the names of MLAs, MPs and ministers to deceive people. "These are anonymous people unknown to these leaders," he said. "But in this case, these are not some random swindlers. These are guys who are always seen with top CPM leaders. That is when people tend to believe the allegation," he said. 

Nonetheless, Satheesan underlined that he was not trying to insinuate that any of the leaders were complicit in the crime. "But you should know that there are such people in your party, people who point at you and say that they are collecting money for your sake. If what I have read is correct, the PWD minister (Riyas) himself had given a complaint to the party that a caucus of this sort was active," Satheesan said.

The Opposition Leader then alleged that the auctioning of the PSC member posts had become the norm in the LDF. "Earlier, the phone conversation of the private secretary of NCP leader and minister A K Saseendran was leaked and it revealed that lakhs were collected for the post of a PSC member had come out," he said. He said the PSC member post allotted to Janata Dal (S) had been vacant for over a year. "It has been kept for auction," Satheesan said. A similar charge had been earlier levelled against the Indian National League (INL), too, another LDF ally. "How many PSC member posts have now been kept for auction?," Satheesan said.

He once again asked why such an allegation that dragged in the name of top leaders of the CPM was not referred to the police. "Why did you stuff inside a freezer a complaint that a fraud was committed using the names of CPM MLAs and a minister? It is a grave matter that should have been promptly handed over to the police," the Opposition Leader said.

The Chief Minister said that till now no complaint had been received about the functioning of the PSC or the selection of PS members. "They have been carrying out their duties in an exemplary manner," the CM said.

He then sought to turn the tables on Satheesan. The CM said that the Kozhikode City Police Commissioner had received an email complaint at 8:21 a.m. today (July 9) in the name of the Indian Youth Congress general secretary. He hinted that this was a sly move made by the Congress party to provide sufficient heft to the Submission that the Opposition Leader would be raising in the Assembly.

Satheesan denied he had any role in the email complaint. But he hurled two posers at the Chief Minister before staging a walkout. One, why did the police take the statements of the doctor (a homeopathy doctor who had allegedly paid Rs 22 lakh to the CPM leader for the PSC member post) and her husband if you had not received a complaint? Two, if there was no such complaint why did the party secretary M V Govindan say that the issue would be examined by the party and the government?
The CM did not respond to these questions.

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