Vigilance Recommends Probe Against Thomas Chandy

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau will register a case in connection with the alleged irregularities and land encroachments pertaining to the Lake Palace resort of former transport minister Thomas Chandy in Alappuzha.
According to sources, the VACB will submit a preliminary inquiry report into the allegations against Chandy before the court on Thursday. The VACB is likely to recommend an inquiry by the revenue department into the alleged violations of Kerala Conservation of Paddyland and Wetland Act. VACB eastern range SP Johnson Joseph who conducted the preliminary inquiry submitted the report to Vigilance director Loknath Behera last week.
Sources said that the inquiry had found prima facie irregularities by Thomas Chandy. About 25 officials were also found prima facie guilty. The inquiry commissioner and special judge (Vigilance) in Kottayam had earlier ordered a preliminary inquiry on the basis of a petition alleging irregularities in the construction of Valiyakulam- Zero jetty road, which leads to Chandy’s resort, using the MPs’ funds of P.J. Kurian and K.E. Ismail. They may also come under the purview of the investigation.
There were also reports that the Vigilance was exploring the option of not naming Chandy as an accused in the FIR in the initial stage. It may be recalled that Behera had recently issued a circular that a person need to be arraigned as accused in a case only if there is sufficient evidence.
The Vigilance had also received petitions regarding several other allegations in connection with Chandy’s resort. They would be also brought under the purview of the detailed investigation after registering the case. Since some of the allegations pertained to violation of Kerala Conservation of Paddyland and Wetland Act, the Vigilance may recommend action by the revenue department also, said sources.

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