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Kerala HC refuses to stay CBI probe into Life Mission housing project scam

ANI | Updated: Oct 01, 2020 19:09 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 1 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Thursday refused to stay the probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged Life Mission housing project scam and posted the case for further hearing on October 8.
Hearing the petition filed by the state government to quash the FIR filed by CBI in the Life Mission case, a single-judge bench of Justice VG Arun observed, "There are certain grey areas. Let the CBI investigation go on."
The bench also asked the state government and Life Mission CEO to cooperate with the probe.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer KV Viswanathan, who appeared for the Kerala government, sought to quash the FIR registered by the CBI saying that the state government had no role in the agreement between Red Crescent and the two construction companies - Unitac and Sane Ventures.
The FIR had alleged violation of Section 3 of the Foreign Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, which he countered is not applicable in the case.

CBI's counsel Sasthamangalam S Ajithkumar submitted that the investigation is at a nascent stage and a thorough probe was necessary to unearth the facts.
The agency said that the writ petition was not maintainable and the petitioner has no Locus Standi to file the petition seeking to quash the FIR. The petitioner (Life Mission CEO) was not named in the FIR and only unknown officials of Life Mission were mentioned in it. "How can a person, who was not implicated in the case, can come out against the FIR," asked the CBI counsel.
Declining to pass any interim order to stay the case, the High Court issued notice to respondents and adjourned the case to Thursday for further hearing.
CBI filed the FIR arraigning Santhosh Eapen MD Unitech, San Ventures and unknown persons as accused in the case. CBI also has summoned Life Mission CEO on October 5 to submit relevant documents of 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 crores as commission. (ANI)