Kerala opposition leader trashes govt petition against CBI probe into Life Mission project

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He said that the petition filed by the government in the high court against the probe was in effect against its own order providing consent to the central agency to probe all Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act violations in the state.

Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has called the Left Democratic Front government’s attempt to stall the CBI probe into the Life Mission project in Thrissur a bluff.

He said that the petition filed by the government in the high court against the probe was in effect against its own order providing consent to the central agency to probe all Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act violations in the state.

Releasing copy of the gazette notification issued by the Pinarayi Vijayan government in July 2017 at a press conference on Saturday, October 1, Ramesh said that it was strange that the government had sought to oppose the CBI probe on the ground that it was unauthorized.

The Congress leader alleged that the government was trying to stall the probe as it had realized that many bigwigs, including the chief minister himself will be in the dock. The Rs.20 crore contribution for the project was offered by Red Crescent, a UAE-based NGO, during the chief minister’s visit to the emirate as part of a drive for fund collection for flood relief.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard was later signed between Life Mission, a state government entity established to provide houses to 4.3 lakh homeless people, and the Red Crescent in the presence of the chief minister.

The FIR filed by the CBI in the case alleged violation of section 3 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act in the execution of 140 flats and a health centre at Wadakkancherry in Thriissur district with the help of funds provided by Red Crescent, a UAE-based NGO.

The government approached the high court after the CEO of Life Mission was summoned by the CBI for questioning on October 6. However, the high court refused to stop the probe and asked the government to cooperate with it. The court noted that there are many grey areas in the issue that needs to be investigated.

Image Credit: Republic World

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