Miffed by ED, NIA’s probes, Kerala bans auto consent to CBI

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Miffed by ED, NIA’s probes, Kerala bans auto consent to CBI

Thursday, 05 November 2020 | PNS | KOCHI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is no more welcome in Kerala. The Kerala Government took the decision to “ban” the elite investigation agency in the State in the weekly Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday. Majority of the Opposition ruled States have already done the same.

The decision of the Kerala Government means that the CBI would not be able to file cases on its own in the State.  The CBI will now need the permission of a court of law to launch a probe in the State. The State Government retains the right to refer a case to the CBI.

Kerala is witnessing a shadow war between the Centre and the State in view of the probe launched by NIA, ED and Customs into cases like gold smuggling scam, money laundering, corruption, and terror financing.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPI(M) were upset and annoyed over the CBI’s move to register a criminal case based on the complaint filed by a Congress lawmaker Anil Akkara about alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds in the LIFE Mission, a flagship development programme of the Government.

Anil’s charge was that kickbacks worth crores of rupees changed hands in the construction of residential apartments at Wadakkancherry in Thrissur district as part of LIFE Mission. Since this project involved Red Crescent, an international NGO based in the UAE, the CBI launched an investigation.

But the Kerala Government approached the Kerala High Court challenging the propriety of the CBI to investigate the case. The CBI had summoned U V Jose, CEO of the LIFE Mission, for questioning. The High Court had initially stayed the questioning of Jose by the CBI while on a later hearing it altogether ruled that the CBI need not probe the LIFE Mission.

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