Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 17 (ANI): Kerala High Court on Thursday extended till December 21, the stay on CBI probe against functionaries of the Kerala Life Mission program of the local self-government department in the Life Mission scam case for supposed foreign currency regulation law violations.
The matter will be heard on the same day.
Life Mission's counsel KV Vishwanathan said, "The project and contributions received were outside the purview of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) since contracts were between Red Crescent and building contractors. The morale of officers could be sapped by the CBI's investigation."
Vishwanathan sought a quashing order on the investigation against Life Mission program.
Kochi-based corporate group Unitac's CEO Santhosh Eappen challenged the proceedings against him, stating that the sum he received under contract with UAE Consulate did not come under the purview of FCRA, since it was not prohibited under Section 3 of the Act.
The union government took issue with the fact that Eappen had expressed objection only to a CBI enquiry and not a state vigilance probe. The Union government said, "An accused could not choose his investigating agency. Life Mission case is connected to gold smuggling. Accused in the gold smuggling had received kickbacks to ensure the project was awarded to Unitac."
CBI stated, "Life Mission officials had no locus standi to challenge the investigation since they were not named accused so far."
The case pertains to spending the foreign fund against the purpose for which it was aimed. Congress MLA Anil Akkara had filed a complaint to the CBI alleging that various middlemen including state representatives and government officials received Rs 4.5 crores as commission. (ANI)