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Kerala govt moves petition in Kerala HC to quash FIR filed by CBI into Life Mission scam

ANI | Updated: Sep 30, 2020 21:25 IST


Kochi (Kerala) [India], September 30 (ANI): The Kerala government has moved a petition in the Kerala High Court to quash the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Life Mission scam.
The state argued in the petition that the charges levelled by CBI under section 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and section 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC would not stand. It also stated that the complaint filed by Congress MLA Anil Akkara based on which CBI registered FIR "is guided by political and extraneous considerations, which is glaringly revealed from FIR itself."
Further challenging the grounds on which CBI invoked Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, the state government said, "The activities under agreement with Consulate General, United Arab Emirates, does come under any of the categories of persons prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution under Section 3 of the Act. Therefore even if it is assumed for argument's sake that they had received any foreign contribution or any amount from Red Crescent, no offence under the Act can be said to have been committed,"
"It is clear that any amount received by way of lee or cost in lieu of services rendered in the ordinary course will rot come under foreign contribution. So, even if the allegations of any foreign contrition received by M/s. Unitac and Sane Ventures for construction of housing project is accepted, even then no offence can be said to have been committed, it said.

Opposing the CBI probe the state argued that the FIR has been maliciously instituted with ulterior motives, liable to be quashed. The state government said that the state of Kerala or the LIFE Mission has not accepted any contribution, much less any foreign contribution. The agreement for construction of building for 140 apartments was executed between the Consulate General of UAE and Unitac. It was Red Crescent which selected Unitac and Sane Ventures. Neither the state of Kerala nor LIFE Mission had any role in the selection.
"The manner of FIR registered by the CBI reveals that a roving inquiry was proposed to be conducted against the officials of Kerala government to fish out whether they have committed any offence," said the government in petition opposing probe against government officials.
The CBI registering the FIR was also questioned by the government. "CBI has initiated investigation on the basis of the notification issued on October 27, 2011 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under section 43 of the Act. The section does not authorise any specified agency to the exclusion of the state machinery. The investigation was initiated circumventing the requirement of preliminary sanction under section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"It seems that the investigation, initiated though for the purported violation of Section 3 of the FCRA, is actually the ulterior motive to satisfy the whims and fancies of the managers of the agency," the government argued.
CBI filed the FIR arraigning Santhosh Eapen MD Unitech, San Ventures and unknown persons as accused in the case. The case pertains to spending the foreign fund against the purpose for which it was aimed. Congress MLA Anil Akkara had filed a complaint with CBI alleging that various middlemen including state representatives and government officials received Rs 4.5 crore as commission. (ANI)

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