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HC vigilance wing finds prima facie material against lawyer over bribery allegations

The city police are likely to submit to the State Police Chief a report on the inquiry into alleged corrupt practices of lawyer. Statements are being recorded as part of the probe

January 24, 2023 07:21 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:15 am IST

The Kerala High Court Vigilance wing which conducted an inquiry into the allegation that lawyer Saiby Jose Kidangoor collected lakhs of rupees from his clients on the pretext of bribing judges has reportedly found prima facie sufficient material to proceed against him.

The inquiry has been conducted on the basis of a High Court directive following allegations by some lawyers. The report said that the vigilance team had found several instances of Saiby collecting huge sums of money from clients by taking the names of Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan, Justice A Muhamed Mustaque and Justice Ziyad Rahman A.A. of the High Court. It said his integrity was highly doubtful. He was recently elected as president of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association.

The vigilance wing recorded the statements of some lawyers during the inquiry. One lawyer said he received information that Saiby allegedly secured ₹25 lakh from a client for bribing a judge. Another lawyer alleged that Saiby allegedly collected ₹50 lakh from clients. The lawyer also alleged that Saiby and his friends had been threatening him ever since he made the revelation on social media, the report added.

The report said that Saiby’s acts would come within the ambit of professional misconduct under Section 35 of the Advocates Act. The vigilance wing also reportedly suggested initiation of contempt of court proceedings against him as per Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Court Act besides communicating it to the Bar Council of Kerala for initiating disciplinary action against him.

The City police are likely to submit to the State Police Chief (SPC) a report on the inquiry into the alleged corrupt practices of Saiby. An inquiry has been launched after the High Court registrar moved the SPC in the wake of a report by the High Court Vigilance wing.

The City police are in the process of collecting statements as part of the probe. Reportedly, the statement of a film producer who had allegedly paid a kickback to the lawyer was recorded on Tuesday.

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