By SM .14 Apr, 2021
KOCHI: The high court deferred the petition filed by KT Jaleel demanding a stay on the order of Lokayukta. After hearing about the 1.5-hour-long argument, the court deferred the case for pronouncing the verdict. The court also asked if Jaleel is continuing in the minister post.
Jaleel alleged in his petition that the order of Lokayukta was not legal. He also argued that the procedures which led to the order of the Lokayukta were improper. They issued the order without conducting the preliminary probe and the detailed probe as per law, he alleged. Jaleel further stated in the petition that he was not given an opportunity to explain his version of the issue and this was a denial of justice. He also pressed the demand for a stay. However, the court made it clear that the verdict will be pronounced later.
During the trial, the high court asked Jaleel’s advocate if he is continuing in the post. To this, Jaleel"s lawyer replied that he resigned. With this, the court did not take an immediate decision on the matter.
When the petition came up before the vacation judge, Jaleel’s counsel argued that the Lokayukta did not have powers to consider the matter since it concerns prescription of qualification and appointment to a Minority Development Finance Corporation, which is specifically excluded from the purview of the probe under the Kerala Lokayukta Act.
Counsel for the state government also supported Jaleel saying he was not given an opportunity to present his views before the Lokayukta.
After hearing the arguments, the court reserved the case for orders.
In his plea, Jaleel has alleged that the report was prepared without conducting any preliminary inquiry or regular investigation.
A division bench of the Lokayukta, comprising Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid, had on Friday submitted the report against Jaleel to the Chief Minister and had held that the allegation of abuse of power, favouritism, and nepotism against the minister was proved.
The Muslim Youth League had on November 2, 2018, alleged that Adeeb KT, a cousin of Jaleel, was appointed general manager in Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, flouting rules.
Adeeb was serving as manager of a private bank when the appointment was made.
The Lokayukta had found that the minister had changed the qualifications for the post of General Manager in the Corporation to add “B.Tech with PGDBA” also as a qualification for the post to enable his second cousin, eligible for the post.