Kerala

LIFE Mission project: Kerala HC turns down CBI pleas to vacate stay on probe into alleged irregularities

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that sought to vacate the interim order staying the probe against U.V. Jose, Chief Executive Officer of LIFE Mission, in connection with the alleged irregularities in the LIFE Mission project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur.

The court 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 probe against Santhosh Eappen, MD of the Unitac , a contracting company and the first accused in the case. The interim stay order came on the petitions filed by the LIFE Mission CEO and Mr. Eappen seeking to quash the FIR registered by the CBI.

Also read | Kerala High Court stays CBI probe into LIFE Mission project

When the CBI petition came up for hearing on Wednesday, the court asked the investigating agency counsel whether it had filed a counter-affidavit in the case, to which the counsel said that it had been prepared and sent to the CBI Director for approval. It would soon be filed, it informed the court.

The court then said that the case could be taken up for 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.

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 acquainted with facts of the case. In fact, the stay had created serious hurdles in the probe.

The investigation agency pointed out that that the High Court had observed while issuing the stay that larger legal questions involved 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 needed to be conducted to unearth the deeper conspiracy. Therefore, the CBI pleaded for vacating the stay order in the interests of justice.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:52:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/life-mission-project-hc-turns-down-cbi-pleas-to-vacate-stay-on-probe-into-alleged-irregularities/article32899113.ece

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