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Court stays vigilance probe on construction of Eda Kochi stadium

The vigilance probe on the KCA has been stayed by the Kerala High Court © Getty Images (Representational Photo)
The vigilance probe on the KCA has been stayed by the Kerala High Court © Getty Images (Representational Photo)

Kochi: Jun 24, 2014

Kerala High Court on Tuesday stayed for three months the Vigilance probe into alleged corruption in the construction of a cricket stadium by the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) at nearby Eda Kochi.

The interim order was issued by Justice K Ramakrishnan on a petition filed by KCA Joint Secretary Jayesh Geroge challenging the FIR registered on the order of Vigilance and Inquiry Commissioner and Special Judge, Thrissur. He also sought a stay on all proceedings against KCA persuant to the registration of the FIR.

Admitting the petition, the court issued notice to three respondents, including the state government and the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. The government pleaders took notices for Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau and DYSP Vigilance, the first and second respondents respectively.

Vigilance had decided to conduct a detailed probe against the then KCA Secretary T C Mathew (now President) and 15 others in connection with the alleged corruption in the purchase of the land for the stadium. The allegation was that KCA had levelled 4.10 acres of wetlands and paddy fields for construction of the stadium without obtaining necessary permission, thus violating Kerala Conservation of Paddy land and Wet Land Act 2008.

Meanwhile, KCA Secretary T N Ananthkrishnan, in a statement rejected as baseless allegations that association had taken financial help from Kerala Government. KCA had not taken any financial help from the government, including the Kerala Sports Council for the proposed stadium. KCA does not have sports council affiliation and the allegations of financial help was baseless, he stated.

The association had spent crores for development of sports in the state, he said, adding Rs 12 crore had been spent by it for renovating the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Kaloor. Ernakulam District Collector and nine other government agencies had submitted favourable reports for the construction of the Eda Kochi stadium after which cabinet had given its approval, he said.

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