Kerala

Probe agencies yet to reach a conclusion in Maradu apartments case

The four Maradu apartment complexes that came up in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone rules were pulled down in January 2020. File photo

The four Maradu apartment complexes that came up in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone rules were pulled down in January 2020. File photo | Photo Credit: -

Two years after the demolition of the apartment complexes at Maradu, the investigations by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Crime Branch into the alleged illegal nexus between the builders, the civic authorities and government officials in permitting the construction of the illegal apartments are yet to reach a logical conclusion.

The four apartment complexes that came up in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules were pulled down in January 2020 after the Supreme Court rejected the plea of the builders. The Crime Branch had also arrested the builders and some government officials, and cases were registered against them.

The Supreme Court had in May this year asked Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, former Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, to inquire about the “involvement of the builder/promoter/persons/officials responsible for the illegal construction of the buildings”.

While the Crime Branch had booked seven cases against those involved in the construction of the apartment complexes of Jain Coral Cove, Alfa Serene and H2O Holy Faith, the Vigilance was probing the case related to Golden Kayaloram.

‘In final stages’

The Crime Branch inquiry, according to sources, has reached the final stages. The agency may soon interrogate K.A. Devassy, former Maradu Panchayat president, in the case. Earlier, the government had not responded to the request of the agency for interrogating Mr. Devassy. However, the Crime Branch is understood to have obtained legal opinion that it need not wait for the government clearance to grill Mr. Devassy, who headed the civic body during the period when permission was granted for the construction of the apartment complexes.

Incidentally, Mr. Devassy had appeared before Mr. Radhakrishnan through a lawyer after a notice was served on him. The other civic heads and officials of the local body were also asked to appear before Mr. Radhakrishnan.

The Crime Branch had also collected reports from the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority on the CRZ violations in the case and the Director of Panchayats.

Officials of the local body and the builders were accused of allegedly conspiring with each other, criminal misconduct and making illegal gratification and thereby causing pecuniary loss to the government.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 14, 2022 5:46:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/probe-agencies-yet-to-reach-a-conclusion-in-maradu-apartments-case/article65549658.ece