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Writ petition seeking CBI probe against CM in gold smuggling case to be treated as PIL: Kerala HC

ANI | Updated: Jul 09, 2020 21:07 IST

Kochi (Kerala) [India], July 9 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Thursday said that the writ petition seeking CBI probe against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in relation to the gold smuggling case, has to be treated as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
A bench of Justice VG Arun directed the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice S Manikumar for being allocated to the concerned division bench dealing with PILs.
The writ petition, filed by Michael Varghese, was listed as "defect" matter before Justice VG Arun, after the petitioner's counsel, Advocate Mathews Nedumpara, objected to the Registry's stand that the matter has to be filed as a PIL.
Advocate Nedumpara submitted that he was "personally aggrieved" due to the lack of proper investigation regarding the involvement of the Chief Minister's Office in the gold smuggling scandal. As a citizen, the petitioner has a right and duty to seek investigate in a crime, and the assertion of such a personal right need not be advanced in a Public Interest Litigation, submitted the counsel.
He submitted that the petition was seeking investigation by central agencies such as CBI/NIA into corruption allegations in Sprinklr deal, BevQ app deal, E-bus mobility deal and the latest gold smuggling case.
Justice V G Arun replied that such personal right has to be exercised by approaching the police first, and not directly coming to the High Court. The judge also noted that the petitioner was yet to file any complaint before any authorities.
Ultimately, the bench agreed with the Registry's objection.
"Despite the vociferous submissions on behalf of the petitioner, I am of the view that the matter should be considered as a PIL", the bench observed. (ANI)

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