Kerala

Flat owner accuses CB of tweaking statement

Bid to save Maradu municipal officials from criminal charges alleged

As the drumbeat of protests over the ‘non-prosecution’ of elected municipal officials responsible for the Maradu fiasco continued to intensify, at least one evicted flat owner has accused the Crime Branch (CB) of having misreported her statement purportedly to shield the prime political movers ‘liable’ for the illegal building scheme from criminal charges.

The accuser, a 73-year-old woman, had invested the bulk of life savings in an apartment in the now-demolished Alfa Serene Apartment Complex in Maradu. The CB had recorded her statement subsequently.

“They (CB) were over-eager to have us blame the builder. But my mother refused. She said she had inspected the building permit before the purchase and stated that she had a complaint only against those who had issued it.

Permit

“They wrote that down and she signed it. But, when they (CB) send us the typed draft, there was no mention of who issued the permit. Only accusations against the builder, which she never made,” her son told The Hindu.

Subsequently, the senior citizen shot off a letter of protest to the investigating officer Jossy Cherian.

She said she was not in ‘full agreement’ with several statements the CB had attributed to her.

She said the investigators had ‘omitted’ pertinent parts of her deposition.

She warned the CB against using the draft statement.

She demanded the agency send her a new draft that reflected her account accurately.

More complaints

Several more disposed apartment owners have reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with the ongoing CB inquiry and were likely to seek legal recourse.

Their fear that the CB might shift the blame for the mammoth fraud from municipal officials and solely to builders was reflected in senior advocate Dushyant Dave’s statement in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Mr. Dave, appearing for some evicted residents, pointed out that though the “majesty of the law had prevailed” in the demolition of flats that violated coastal regulation norms in Maradu, there was no sign of any legal action against the officials liable for clearing the illegal building projects.

Arrest demanded

The Congress had taken to the streets in Kochi demanding the arrest of a former municipal chairperson, a ruling front politician, in connection with the protracted land fraud that cost hundreds their homes and life savings.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:49:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/flat-owner-accuses-cb-of-tweaking-statement/article30569897.ece

Next Story