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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Pinarayi under the pump as verdict in CM’s Distress Relief Fund scam awaited

Consequent to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan failing to sign 11 Ordinances for re-promulgation, the Lok Ayukta will pronounce its verdict in a case against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for mishandling the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund.

According to a source aware of the developments, early this year, the Vijayan government had issued an Ordinance curtailing the powers of the Lok Ayukta. Now, with that Ordinance lapsing, any adverse verdict in the case could see the chief minister putting in his papers.

On Wednesday, the state government decided to hold a special Assembly session from August 22 reportedly to pass the lapsed Ordinances in the form of a Bill.

Soon after the Ordinance clipping the powers of the Lok Ayukta was inked by Governor Khan early this year, Public activist R.S.Sasikumar had approached the High Court seeking its intervention in restoring the powers of the Lok Ayukta.

He told IANS this morning that with Khan failing to sign the re-promulgation, the Lok Ayukta has got back all the powers.

“I am now filing a petition before the High Court with a prayer that the court should intervene and direct the Lok Ayukta to give its verdict in the case against Vijayan, as the trial in the case has got over in March,” said Sasikumar.

Incidentally, during the fag end of the first Vijayan government the then State Higher Education Minister K.T.Jaleel had to quit following the Lok Ayukta verdict indicting him for misuse of official powers.

But the saving grace for Vijayan and Jaleel was the verdict came after the voting to the April 2021 Assembly elections had taken place.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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