Allegations of graft in construction of road

The Kozhikode Vigilance Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge on Thursday issued orders directing the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.SP) of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to register a case in connection with the allegations of irregularities in the construction of the mini-bypass road from Eranhipalam to Arayadathupalam in the city.

V. Jayaram, special judge, issued directions to register a case against M. Bhaskaran, former Mayor and Kozhikode district secretariat member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M]; K. Narayanan, former project manager, Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP); and P. Remeshan, president, Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd (ULCCS).

The Dy.SP has been asked to register the case within May 30 and submit the First Information Report (FIR) before the court under section 156 (3) [any magistrate empowered to order investigation] of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The construction of the mini-bypass road had incurred a loss, with the Corporation providing additional amount to the contractor, the court observed.

Previously a petition in this regard was moved by K.P. Sathyakrishnan on behalf of the Corporation Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee on May 8, 2012. The court had on June 4, 2012 ordered an investigation after finding there was a prima facie case in the allegations.

The petitioner has alleged that the project, aided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), had been awarded to the ULCCS for Rs.32 crore. However, the civic body had paid an additional amount of Rs.6 crore to the contractor after the completion of the work. This was in breach of the agreement reached between the Corporation and the contractor at the time of awarding the work. Therefore the complaint should be investigated.

Loss to civic body

The complainant alleged that the Corporation suffered a loss of Rs.11,35,520 and produced documents to support the allegations.

However, the Dy.SP, who investigated the case submitted a report stating that the loss was Rs.7, 09,700 and recommended that the amount be recovered from the contractor with an annual interest of 12 per cent.

Previously the Corporation Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee filed a complaint before VACB Director Mahesh Kumar Singla against the failure of Dy.SP A.J. George to register a case on the allegations.

K.P. Vijayakumar, convener, Corporation Anti-Corruption Campaign Committee, said that the project had been completed during the regime of the previous council. However, the fund had been allotted to the contractor by the present council, he said.

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