The Kerala High Court Wednesday quashed a vigilance case against former minister and senior CPI(M) leader E P Jayarajan, who had resigned following allegations of nepotism in appointments when his party-led LDF was in power. The court also quashed the case against Jayarajan’s nephew and CPI(M) central committee member P K Sreemathy’s son Sudheer Nambiar, who was the second accused in the case, and state industries secretary Paul Antony. Allowing the petition filed by Jayarajan, Justice P Ubaid criticised the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) questioning why such cases, which will not withstand judicial scrutiny, were filed.
Giving a clean chit, the VACB had earlier informed the court that offences “may not lie” against Jayarajan. In a report filed before the court in May, the VACB had said the offence under sections of the PCA “may not lie” against Jayarajan who had resigned as industries minister in last October in the wake of row over appointment of his relative in a public sector undertaking in the industries department.
In its report, the VACB had said the appointment order to the relative was issued on October 1, 2016 and a note was issued two days later cancelling the appointment. Thereafter, a government order was issued on October 13, cancelling the appointment order, the report had said.
“… In view of the discussion with the public prosecutor in charge of the case, it may appear that the offence under section 13 (1)(d)of the PC Act may not lie against the accused by taking note of the cancellation of the appointment order and also in view of the fact that the second accused has not assumed charge, it may appear that the second accused has not gained anything,” the report had said.
On April 10, the vigilance prosecutor had informed the court that no criminal offence was detected and the case against Jayarajan was going to be closed. Jayarajan, who was the number two in the cabinet, was accused of appointing Nambiar as Managing Director of Kerala Industrial Enterprises Ltd. The appointment was later quashed by the government.