Kochi: The Vigilance Court, Muvattupuzha, on Tuesday directed the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to conduct a quick verification into the controversial agreement signed by Ernakulam district collector with Seematti Textiles to acquire 32 cents of land for the Kochi Metro Rail project. The court asked the Vigilance to file a report in 30 days.
Vigilance Court special judge P. Madhavan issued the order on a petition filed by G. Girish Babu of Kalamassery seeking a probe into the deal under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“A quick and effective verification is required to know whether there is material to proceed with the case,” the judge said.
Since one of the accused is a district collector, the complaint is forwarded to the director, Vigilance Department, Thiruvananthapuram, to appoint an officer of suitable rank to conduct a probe of facts involved in this case,” the court observed and posted the case to March 24 for report.
The petitioner submitted that collector M.G. Rajamanickam “agreed for the sale of the land being used as Metro Rail purpose and for no other purpose” ( without giving full rights to KMRL) for the purpose of getting undue benefit to Seematti without informing Kochi Metro Rail Ltd and hence the respondents are liable to be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
DCwas the first to expose the controversial deal. DC in these columns on February 10 had reported that the revenue department had bent the rules in favour of the textile shop and that the KMRL had raised objection to the clauses incorporated in the deal.
The agreement was in violation of the standard procedures adopted by the District-Level Purchase Committee, argued the KMRL. The agreement also mentioned that Seematti had a legal right to get Rs 80 lakh per cent whereas the State-Level Purchase Committed had fixed Rs 52 per cent.
The KMRL had objected to the controversial deal and sent letters to the government as well as the collector to redraft the agreement....