New Delhi, Oct 1 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today dismissed as withdrawn, the petition filed by former Kerala Minister KT Jaleel challenging the Kerala High Court’s verdict which upheld the report of the state Lok Ayukta finding him guilty of abuse of power and nepotism.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai expressed unwillingness to entertain the petition saying that it was a clear case of a relative being favoured.
Pursuant to the bench’s remarks, the Senior Advocate Shankaranarayanan, appearing for the Kerala minister, sought permission to withdraw the petition. Accordingly, the special leave petition was dismissed as withdrawn.
The case pertains to an order passed by the Kerala Lok Ayukta. The order of the Lokayukta came on a complaint alleging that K.T. Adeeb, cousin of the former Minister, was illegally appointed as general manager of the corporation on a deputation. The Lok Ayukta had found that that the Minister’s decision to change the qualification for the post of general manager by adding BTech with PGDBA as qualification for the post was to make his second cousin eligible for the post. The earlier qualification was graduation with MBA or CS/CA/ICWAI. As a result, the Lok Ayukta had made a declaration that the petitioner was not entitled to continue as a Minister.
Jaleel, was the Minister for Higher Education and Minority Welfare during the term of The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government for a period of 2016-2021.
The Kerala High Court on April 20 dismissed his petition, seeking to stay the Lok Ayukta findings that he had “abused” his position as a public servant to obtain a favour for a relative.
A division bench of Justices PB Suresh Kumar and K Babu dismissed the plea, observing that there were no procedural lapses from the Lok Ayukta as alleged by the petitioner.
It said the Lok Ayukta report was furnished after examining all the files and documents in connection with the appointment of his kin as General Manager in a state financial institution.
The High Court pointed out that the contention of the petitioner that there was no investigation into the complaint by the Lok Ayukta was liable to be rejected.
On August 3, the MLA approached the apex court seeking redressal from both the Lok Ayukta and the subsequent High Court verdict which upheld the former’s observations.
In his plea before the Top Court, Jaleel argued that the HC erred in ignoring the deviation from the mandatory procedure required to be complied with under the Lok Ayukta Act. To prove his contention, he claimed that the Lok Ayukta did not conduct a probe after the Preliminary Enquiry as mandated by this law. Alleging that even the Preliminary Enquiry was not completed, he added that the Lok Ayukta’s final report was based only on the chronology of events as per the complaint.
During the hearing today (October 1), Senior Advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan appearing for Jaleel submitted that the findings were entered without hearing him. He alleged that the complaint was filed after Adeeb initiated proceedings against members of the rival Muslim League party for recovery of arrears from Non Performing Asset (NPA) accounts. He said that Adeeb resigned within a month after the controversy. The additional qualifications introduced in the appointment norms, to which the Lok Ayukta took objection, was approved by the Government, counsel added.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai expressed unwillingness to entertain the petition saying that it was a clear case of a relative being favored.
Senior Advocate Shankaranarayanan sought permission to withdraw the petition. Accordingly, the special leave petition was dismissed as withdrawn./ILNS/SS/SNG/