Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 4 (PTI) The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau on Sunday said it has not ordered any preliminary inquiry into the complaint of graft and misappropriation of funds against Congress MP K Sudhakaran, but has only directed verification of the antecedents of the complainant.
An officer of the Vigilance department toldPTI that when a complaint is received the first step is to verify the background or antecedents of the complainant to find out whether such a person exists or not.
Subsequently, a verification report is sent by the enquiring officer and based on that a decision is taken whether to initiate a preliminary enquiry or not, the officer said.
In the present matter, the complaint has been made by Sudhakaran's former driver Prasanth Babu.
According to his complaint, Sudhakaran, who is also the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President, allegedly siphoned off funds to the tune of Rs 32 crore from the monies received by the K Karunakaran Trust for building a memorial of the late politician, a project which never took off.
The complaint also alleges that the KPCC president swindled funds collected for construction of Kannur DCC office.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly V D Satheesan, at a press meet, said no case can be initiated against an MP without the permission of the Lok Sabha Speaker.
He said not even a preliminary inquiry can be initiated against an MP without the LS Speaker's permission and therefore, any case or vigilance proceedings initiated by the government against Sudhakaran will have no legal standing.
He said this was just a publicity exercise for defaming a political leader and if the government really wanted to initiate a case, it should have first sought the LS Speaker's permission.
Satheesan said that neither he nor his party will be scared by such tactics.
P K Kunhalikutty, the National General Secretary of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), told the media that the steps being taken by the Vigilance department were 'politically motivated.' He said the present government is known for going after its political opponents in this manner. PTI HMP ROH ROH