The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau registered a case against 16 persons, including T.C. Mathew, secretary and other officials of Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), in connection with the purchase of land for a cricket stadium at Edakochi.

Director of VACB Mahesh Kumar Singhla gave instructions on Wednesday to form a special team at the district unit here to probe in detail the allegations of corruption involved in the purchase of land for the proposed stadium.

The KCA’s move to purchase 23 acres near Pampayimoola along Vembanad Lake ran into controversy from the beginning. The proposal was first rejected by Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). But the KCA revived the project and went ahead with the environment impact assessment in July last year after the Kerala State Coastal Zone Management Authority (KSCZMA) decided to give in-principle approval to the Kochi Oceanarium project at Puthuvypeen.

The Vigilance Court, Thrissur, had ordered a probe against 18 persons, including Mr. Mathew, T.R. Balakrishnan, president of KCA, and S. Sarma, former Minister for Registration, in 2011. A quick verification report was submitted and the VACB director has now ordered a detailed probe on the basis of this report. It is learnt that the special team will also probe the alleged irregularities in the sale of tickets for the India-Australia One Day International cricket match held in Kochi in 2007 and also into the alleged irregularities in the purchase of floodlights for the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor.

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