A controversy has sparked in Kerala over the participation of Lokayukta and Upalokayukta in the Iftar party hosted by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
RS Sasikumar, the petitioner in the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund(CMDRF) case, has expressed his disappointment after the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta attended the party.
RS Sasikumar said he believes that the Lokayukta judges in having attended the party hosted by the Chief Minister, while a case against the Chief Minister is before them, is an insult to the judiciary and that he has lost his faith in the judiciary after this.
Sasikumar alleged that the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta were invited to the banquet as a sign of gratitude for the verdict granting temporary relief to the Chief Minister. He added that even if they are being invited, both of them should have stayed away from the function.
It is alleged that Lokayukta Justice Cyriak Joseph and Upalokayukta Justice Haroon Rasheed were invited to the iftar banquet and both of them attended.
The petitioner has questioned the presence of the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta at the banquet when the Lokayukta full bench is going to consider CMDRF misuse case on April 12.
NK Premachandran MP alsocame out against the presence of the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta at the Iftar party hosted by the Chief Minister. He said this is against the self-restraints and practices followed by the rulers and judges in independent India.
The presence of the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta at the party hosted by the Chief Minister, when the Lokayukta full bench is going to consider the CMDRF misuse case against the CM on April12,has raised questions about the independence of the judiciary.
Government sources explain that the participation of Lokayukta and Upalokayukta in receptions of the Chief Minister and the Governor is a regular practice and there won’t be any controversy over it. But the government tried to hide the Lokayukta’s presence at the chief minister’s party as much as possible. The Lokayukta’s name was not listed in the PRD press release about the event. The Lokayukta was also omitted in the footage provided by the PRD to the channels.
In a temporary relief to the Chief Minister,The Kerala Lokayukta recently referred the case pertaining to the alleged misuse of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) to a three-member full bench.
The decision to constitute a three-member bench was taken after Lokayukta Cyriac Joseph and Upa Lokayukta Harun-ul-Rashid had a difference of opinion.
Chief Mnister Pinarayi Vijayan, 16 ministers who was part of his first term (2016-21) and the then Chief Secretary are the accused in the case.