SC refuses to entertain plea of ex-Kerala minister against Lokayukta report


PTI, Oct 1, 2021, 3:14 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain an appeal by former Kerala minister K T Jaleel seeking to stay the Lokayukta findings that he had “abused” his position as a public servant to obtain a favour for a relative.

A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao declined to consider the plea challenging the Kerala High Court order.

The top court said it could have considered the case if it was a case of vague or ambiguous allegations but it is a clear case of a relative being favoured.

Sensing disinclination of the bench, also comprising Justice B R Gavai, the minister”s counsel withdrew the appeal and the matter was dismissed as withdrawn.

Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for the ex-minister, argued that the findings of Lokayukta were reached without hearing him.

He submitted that the complaint was filed after the kin of the ex-minister initiated proceedings against members of the rival Muslim League party for recovery of arrears from NPA accounts.

There were no procedural lapses from the Lokayukta as alleged by the petitioner, the high court had observed.

It said the Lokayukta report was furnished after examining all the files and documents in connection with the appointment of his kin as general manager in a state financial institution.

Jaleel had resigned as the minister from the LDF government on April 13 after the Lokayukta held that he violated oath of office by appointing his relative to the post of general manager of Kerala State Minority Development Finance Corporation (KSMDFC).

Jaleel had argued that the Lokayukta did not have powers to consider the matter as it concerned prescription of qualification and appointment to MDFC, which is specifically excluded from the purview of the probe under the Kerala Lokayukta Act.

The state government had also supported Jaleel, saying he was not given an opportunity to present his views before the Lokayukta.

In his plea, Jaleel had alleged that the report was prepared without conducting any preliminary inquiry or regular investigation.

A division bench of the Lokayukta had recently submitted the report against Jaleel to the Chief Minister and had held that the allegation of abuse of power, favouritism and nepotism against the minister was proved.

The Muslim Youth League had on November 2, 2018 alleged that Adeeb K T, a cousin of Jaleel, was appointed general manager in Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, flouting rules.

Adeeb was serving as manager of a private bank when the appointment was made.

The Lokayukta had found that the minister had changed the qualifications for the post of General Manager in the Corporation to add “B Tech with PGDBA” also as a qualification for the post to enable his second cousin, eligible for the post.

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