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Kerala HC declines to pass interim order on Santhosh Eappen's petition seeking to quash CBI FIR in Life Mission scam

ANI | Updated: Oct 05, 2020 21:22 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 5 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Monday declined to pass any interim order on the petition filed by Santhosh Eappen, MD of Unitac, seeking to quash the FIR registered by CBI against him in the Life Mission scam.
The court also directed CBI to inform whether funds received by Unitac as part of the Life Mission project will fall under the purview of foreign contribution under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
A single bench of Justice VG Arun posted the case for Thursday for a detailed hearing when the petition of Life Mission CEO of the Kerala Government to quash CBI FIR will also come up before the court.

Appearing for CBI, Ajith Kumar Sasthamagalam told the court that the petitioner himself stated in the petition that he had handed over crores of rupees to several persons following the instructions of Swapna Suresh prime accused in the gold smuggling case, who is being probed by central agencies including NIA, Customs and ED.
Also, CBI told the court the state government had ordered a Vigilance enquiry into the issue, and based on primary investigation the Vigilance Director had found irregularities in the project.
CBI said the after the kickbacks were given to various persons mentioned by the petitioner himself, the plan for the project was approved. Further, CBI said that the money that came to Unitac was linked to the MoU signed by Life Mission so it will come under the purview of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
Abhilash KN, the petitioner's counsel argued that foreign funds received by Unitac as part of its business are exempted from foreign contribution regulation and that Life Mission is an exempted organisation as it is in the government sector. It is on the basis of an MoU signed by Life Mission, therefore, Unitac has not violated foreign contribution regulation.
The court has posted the case for Thursday for a detailed hearing. (ANI)