The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested four people accused in the ongoing investigation of cases related to violence in Manipur, an official statement said on Sunday.
A controversy has sparked in Kerala over the participation of Lokayukta and Upalokayukta in the Iftar party hosted by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. It has been pointed out that the action of Lokayukta Cyriac Joseph and Upalokayukta Harun-ul-Rashid is a violation of the Supreme Court-adopted charter.
The Supreme Court adopted a charter called the ‘Restatement of Values of Judicial Life’ on 7 May 1997. It serves as a guide for an independent and fair judiciary. It is a code of judicial ethics and serves as a guide for an independent and fair judiciary, paving the way for the impartial administration of justice.
The code comprises 16 points, and point 10 of the code says a judge shall not accept gifts or hospitality except his family, close relations and friends.
RS Sasikumar, the petitioner in the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) case, expressed disappointment against 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 lost 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 questioned the presence of the Lokayukta and Upalokayukta at the banquet when the Lokayukta full bench is going to consider the CMDRF misuse case on April 12.
NK Premachandran, MP, also came 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 him on April 12, has raised questions about the impartiality of the judiciary.
Government sources explained the participation of the Lokayukta and the Upalokayukta in receptions as 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 media were not allowed to cover the Iftar party.
The Lokayukta’s name was not listed in the Public Relations Department (PRD) press release about the event. The Lokayukta was also omitted in the footage provided by the Public Relations Department (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.
A decision to constitute a three-member bench was taken after Lokayukta Cyriac Joseph and Upalokayukta Harun-ul-Rashid had a difference of opinion.