Kochi: Governor Arif Mohammad Khan has given permission to prosecute Former Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) Minister and Muslim League leader V K Ebrahim Kunju over his alleged role in Palarivattom flyover scam.
The IUML politician has to face law as Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau prosecutes him in the case related to Palarivattom flyover, which was thrown open to the public in 2016, developed problems at expansion joints a few months after its inauguration. It was temporarily shut in May 2019 but the closure was later extended indefinitely.
The major allegation against the Minister was the financial irregularities in which he as allocated more funds flouting norms. The Vigilance team looking into the corruption linked to the weak bridge had requested the High Court that his role in the scam to be probed. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau had arrested four people including former Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary, TO Sooraj, and Managing Director of RDS project Ltd (The company which executed the project), Sumit Goyal, on charges of corruption.
The Kerala High Court in November 2019 had given nod for Vigilance probe in the alleged corruption. Former PWD secretary T O Sooraj, who is facing charges in the scam, had also accused the ex-minister. In its affidavit, Vigilance said that the minister is equally responsible as he had ordered the advance payment.
After got clear evidence against the IUML Minister, the Vigilance approached the government three months ago seeking permission to prosecute the former minister. Since Ebrahim Kunju is a sitting MLA, the government was transferring the request to the Governor. The Vigilance petition seeking clearance was pending before the Governor for the last three months. Before the decision, the Governor had earlier sought legal advice from the Advocate General about giving permission to prosecute Ebrahim Kunju in the scam.