Minister says issues out of CBI purview will be covered
Though the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was investigating the controversial deals of Steel Industrial Forgings Ltd. (SIFL), it was the State government that first spotted the irregularities, Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty said on Tuesday.
As a follow-up action, the State had also placed the public sector unit’s managing director S. Shanavas under suspension, he said.
Talking to presspersons here on the sidelines of a function he attended, Mr. Kunhalikutty said the government would institute a Vigilance probe into the functioning of the SIFL under Dr. Shanavas.
The probe would cover issues that did not come under the purview of the investigation the CBI was currently conducting into the irregularities connected with SIFL’s deals to supply steel to an ordnance factory at Medak, near Hyderabad, and a Defence establishment in Chennai.
The CBI had already booked Dr. Shanavas and senior manager of the company A. Valsan, in addition to a Mumbai-based woman named Subi Mally, who had allegedly worked as an intermediary between the SIFL and the ordnance factories, in connection with the deals in which a sum of Rs.18 lakh had allegedly changed hands as commission. Mr. Kunhalikutty was responding to a question whether he had knowledge about the “politicians behind the corrupt deals”.
Earlier in the day, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, at press conference, had made a veiled charge that Dr. Shanavas was Mr. Kunhalikutty’s choice as the MD of the company and the benefits of the “corrupt deals” would have reached the “MD’s political boss” also.
The Industries Minister said Dr. Shanavas had headed two or three other public sector undertakings also in the past, and the Vigilance investigation now being ordered would look into the functioning of these companies also during the period of his stewardship.