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Ex-principal secy to Kerala CMO hijacked MoU between Life Mission, Red Crescent: CBI tells HC

ANI | Updated: Oct 08, 2020 18:54 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 8 (ANI): The former principal secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister's Office, M Sivasankar hijacked the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Life Mission and Red Crescent, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted before the Kerala High Court on Thursday claiming it is fraud under the guise of foreign contributions.
The CBI made the submissions before a single-judge bench of Justice VG Arun, who was hearing the petitions filed by the CEO of LIFE Mission Project of the Kerala government and the MD of Unitac builders to quash the CBI FIR alleging Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act violations over UAE contributions received for the construction of apartments for flood victims.
"This is an underbelly transaction. The MoU is an eyewash," the High Court observed reserving its order on the matter.
CBI's counsel referred to the statement given by Santosh Eapen, MD of Unitac, who had discussions with Kerala gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh, Sandeep Nair and Sarith PS. It said that Eapen paid commission to the accused to get the project.
The counsel of the agency read out the Eapen's statement, "Swapna told Unitac MD that it was a government project financed by the UAE government and assured him that all government approvals will be arranged by her. She demanded a commission of 30 per cent to 20 per cent for the UAE consular and 10 per cent for herself."

The CBI submitted, "persons accused of smuggling are standing in the charity project of the government. It is wrong to say that Unitac got the contract after a tender process. They got it through Swapna Suresh and other accused smugglers after agreeing to pay commission to them."
The agency submitted that if the statements of Santosh Eapen are taken into account, they show allegations of criminal misconduct against the former principal secretary of Kerala CMO.
"So CBI definitely has the power to investigate. If Unitac has accepted foreign contributions on behalf of Life Mission, FCRA will come into operation by virtue of Section 3(2)(a). That is a matter for investigation," the CBI submitted.
"Foreign contributions can be received only for the purpose they are received. When the Unitac MD says that he has given a portion to Swapna, Sarith, Khalid and others, there is a violation of the FCRA," it added.
The CBI submitted that the facts of the case clinchingly point out that there is a conspiracy to flinch the money intended for poor people and added that if it finds out about kickbacks given to government officials, it will add Prevention of Corruption Act charges as well.
It informed the court that the CBI will place the case diary in a sealed cover and said that the court should pass any order only after reading the case diary. (ANI)