A Special Court has ordered the registration of a case of corruption against former Corporation Mayor M. Bhaskaran and six others in connection with alleged diversion of funds meant for a city slum development project.
The case relates to the alleged re-routing of Rs.2.9 lakh meant for the construction of a drain and a footpath at Cherottuvayal, a city slum, in 2007-2008.
The project was devised under the People’s Planning Campaign.
Kozhikode Inquiry Commissioner and Special Vigilance Judge V. Jayaram passed the order after being prima facie satisfied with the veracity of the complaint and evidence placed on record by advocate and anti-corruption activist K.P. Vijayakumar against the former Mayor and civic body officials.
The court directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) to register an FIR in the court by July 22 and follow it up with a detailed probe.
Incidentally, the court’s order casts aside an earlier investigation report by the VACB that said the allegations deserved only a departmental inquiry.
Arguing in court against a mere departmental action, Mr. Vijayakumar contended that Corporation officials could not divert the funds without the acquiescence of an higher authority, like the Mayor, and there was no point in taking action against them without probing the roles of the authorities.
The Vigilance court also asked the VACB to consider the documents presented by Mr. Vijayakumar on the alleged role of then ward councillor and now Deputy Mayor P.T. Abdul Latheef and councillor C.K. Renuka Devi in the issue.
Mr. Vijayakumar had earlier complained to the court against the non-arraigning of Mr. Latheef as an accused in the case.
He had alleged that the funds were diverted to construct a footpath in front of the house of Ms. Renuka Devi.