Alleged irregularity in assigning land to VS’ kin
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Saturday interrogated A. Suresh, personal secretary to Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in assigning land to Mr. Achuthanandan’s relative in Kasaragod district during the Left Democratic Front government’s rule.
A team of officers led by North Zone Vigilance Superintendent of Police P. Habeeb Rahman and Deputy Superintendent of Police V.G. Kunhan questioned Mr. Suresh at the Vigilance office at Thondayad here for more than an hour.
He was questioned on the basis of a statement of the former Land Revenue Commissioner K.R. Muralidharan that Mr. Suresh at the behest of Mr. Achuthanandan had pressured him to allot P.K. Soman, an ex-serviceman, three acres of land in Kasaragod district under a government rehabilitation scheme for decommissioned soldiers.
Earlier, the VACB had twice served notices on Mr. Suresh for questioning. But he had approached the Supreme Court, which asked the sleuths not to coerce him for extracting details. The Vigilance officials, however, were armed with the records of mobile calls of both Mr. Suresh and Mr. Muraleedharan, the sources said.
Emerging out of the office, Mr. Suresh told mediapersons that the case was fabricated by the United Democratic Front (UDF) for political reasons. He would approach the Supreme Court again in this regard, he said.
The case relates to Mr. Achuthanandan and others showing undue interest in allotting land in the possession of the State government in Kasaragod when he was the Chief Minister during the period 2006- 2011.
A First Information Report filed by the VACB before the Kozhikode Vigilance Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge named Mr. Achuthanandan as the first accused; former Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran as second accused; the former Land Revenue Commissioner K.R. Muralidharan, third accused; the former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sheela Thomas, fourth accused; Mr. Soman, the beneficiary, fifth accused; the former Kasaragod District Collectors N.A. Krishnakutty and Anand Singh as sixth and seventh accused; and Mr. Suresh, eighth accused.
Earlier, the Vigilance sleuths had questioned all the other accused. Mr. Achuthanandan was questioned on June 23.
The CPI(M) leader had then denied that that he had committed any lapse in allotment of the plot and that he had only interfered for removing procedural flaws over the total right of land. In fact, the land had been assigned to Mr. Soman in 1977 during the UDF government.
The sources said a draft of the report would be submitted to Vigilance Director Venugopal K. Nair shortly before filing a charge sheet in the Vigilance court.
However, the VACB has to get approval from the Centre for prosecuting the government officials.