The Thrissur Vigilance court on Thursday ordered an investigation into alleged corruption charges against Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anoop Jacob, Kerala Congress(Jacob) working chairman Johny Nelloor, and four others.
In his petition, All India Ration Dealers Association general secretary Babychan Mukkadan alleged that the Minister had misused his office for sanctioning wholesale ration depots in the State.
Four others accused in the case are Kerala Congress (Jacob) general secretary Biju Mattapally, secretary C Mohanan Pillai, Minister’s private secretary P.S. Radhakrishnan, and S. Srilatha, former Kottayam district supply officer.
Considering the petition, Vigilance Judge and Inquiry Commissioner V. Bhaskaran asked the Vigilance Director, Thiruvananthapuram, to conduct an investigation into the charges and submit the report before April 17.
Paul K. Varghese appeared for the petitioner in the court.
Mr. Mukkadan, in his petition, alleged that several lakhs of rupees were taken as bribe by the party to sanction ration shops and for felicitating transfers.
The petition was filed on the basis of statements by Ms. Srilatha and Mr. Radhakrishnan. The petitioner submitted the CDs of the statements as evidence before the court.
The petitioner said that Mr. Biju Mattappally had collected Rs. 3 lakh from Ms. Srilatha for facilitating her transfer to the post of Kottayam district supply officer. He produced an audio recording of Ms. Srilatha’s statements as proof.
It was also alleged that the party had collected Rs.10,000 each from 600 wholesale ration dealers as party fund during the Piravom by-election.
Besides, Ms. Srilatha also admitted that she had received Rs.50,000 as bribe when wholesale ration depots were sanctioned illegally in the State.