Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

SC issues notice to Kerala CM on CBI's plea

SC issues notice to Kerala CM on CBI's plea

Sources said several of the trips undertaken by Vijayan to New Delhi to attend the CPM politburo meetings had been funded by the state government.

Former CPI legislator Rajaji Mathew Thomas, the Chief Editor of the CPI party organ, said he had never heard any Chief Minister of Kerala ordering the media to "get out". The CBI also accused Vijayan, who was then power minister, of swindling Rs 375 crore from the state.

The CBI, in its appeal, said there was "ample material to show the involvement" of Mr. Vijayan in the Lavalin deal.

"Such a thing has never happened in Kerala". He also flayed the statement of BJP that the Centre should monitor the utilisation of Ockhi relief fund.

Hassan, the President of Congress in Kerala, told reporters here that this was nothing but corruption.

After protests, the government was forced to cancel the order for payment of Vijayan's helicopter journey from the State Disaster Relief Fund.

In Kochi, Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennitha said it was a "serious lapse" on the part of the government and a highly "condemnable act". Political observers in Kerala claim that his alleged role in the SNC Lavalin scam is what had stalled his elevation to the Kerala chief minister's post in May 2006 when the Left Front won the state assembly polls.

Meanwhile, the CPI (M) Secretariat has decided that the relief fund should not be used to pay for the CM's copter bill.

There is an attempt to portray the incident as a theft by the CM, he said.

Revenue, Finance, Fisheries, Local Self Government and Agriculture secretaries will be members of the committee headed by the chief secretary, a government press release said. He also said neither he nor his office was aware of the controversial order.

The helicopter was hired for Vijayan's "to and fro journey" from Thrissur to Thiruvananthapuram on December 26.

Central disaster management additional secretary Vipin Mallik and his team visited cyclone-affected areas in five districts of the state from December 26 to 29.

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