Kerala

HC dismisses CBI plea to vacate stay

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday turned down the plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for vacating its interim order staying the probe against U.V. Jose, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LIFE Mission, in connection with the alleged irregularities in the LIFE Mission project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur.

The High Court had last week stayed for two months further proceedings in the investigation against the LIFE Mission CEO even as it allowed the CBI to go ahead with the investigation against Santhosh Eappen, MD of the Unitac, a contracting company and the first accused in the case.

The interim stay order came on petitions filed by the LIFE Mission CEO and Santhosh Eappen seeking to quash the FIR registered by CBI.

Counter-affidavit

When the petition of the CBI seeking to vacate the interim stay order came up for hearing, the court asked CBI counsel whether it had filed any counter-affidavit in the case, to which the counsel replied that the affidavit had been sent to the CBI Director for approval. It would soon be filed, the counsel informed the court.

The court then said that the case could be taken up for a final hearing once the CBI filed the counter-affidavit.

The State government submitted that the CBI attempt was to draw the attention of the media and humiliate it.

CBI submission

The CBI submitted in its petition that it could not collect the relevant files of the LIFE Mission project from the State government on account of the stay order. Besides, it could not continue with the probe as it was not able to question and summon the LIFE Mission officers, government servants and others who were acquainted with facts of the case. In fact, the stay order had created serious hurdles in the investigation.

The investigation agency pointed out that the High Court had observed while issuing the stay order that larger legal questions involved in the case required to be determined. In fact, the CBI was willing to argue the case as early as possible.

The case involved the interests of the state and serious investigation needs to be conducted to unearth the deeper conspiracy in the case. Therefore, the CBI pleaded for vacating the stay order in the interests of justice.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 10:11:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hc-dismisses-cbi-plea-to-vacate-stay/article32901563.ece

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