More info needed on nearly C4 crore fine paid to I-T Department for depositing unaccounted money of C10 crore in another account
KOCHI: Opposing bail plea, thebVigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) on Thursday sought custody of IUML leader Ebrahim Kunju, the fifth accused in Palarivattom flyover corruption case, for interrogation as he suppressed information about a payment of nearly Rs 4 crore fine to Income Tax Department for depositing unaccounted money of Rs 10 crore in the account of Muslim Printing & Publishing Company Ltd, which runs IUML’s mouth piece Chandrika.
Vigilance suspects that the said amount was part of an alleged kickback from Palarivattom flyover project.
“The earlier version that the amount deposited in the said account was that of subscription amount received from Chandrika daily was given up and admitted to be black money and paid penalty to Income Tax Authority,” read a report filed by VACB DySP V Syamkumar before Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court opposing Kunju’s bail plea and seeking his custody. The court has posted the hearing on the bail plea to November 24.
Vigilance said the accused has not voluntarily disclosed to the investigating agency regarding such payment of penalty, but a copy of communication with the I-T Department was seized from his house kept concealed. “The Enforcement Directorate is investigating this aspect and the High Court had issued a directive to the VACB to cooperate with the said agency in this regard. Only a custodial interrogation with the leads exchanged by these investigating agencies can unearth the sequences of conspiracy in this high-profile corruption…,” the report said.
The report also said that the tender of RDS Projects Ltd was illegally accepted violating the norms and that the said company presented documents purporting to be that of another company to show that there were competitive tenders.
As per the Vigilance report, the company quoted a lower amount after accessing the rate quoted in eligible tenders through dubious means. “It is also revealed that mobilisation advance which was specifically declined on pre tender discussions to other companies was extended to RDS Projects,” the report said adding that in the capacity as chairman of the board of directors of RBDCK, the accused illegally sanctioned Rs 8,25,59,768 as mobilisation advance fully knowing that no mobilisation advance was allowable as per the existing rules, procedures and tender.
Meanwhile, a medical board will be constituted to look into the health condition of Ebrahim Kunju who was allowed by the court to continue at a private hospital where he got admitted a day before the Vigilance decided to arrest him. “Based on the medical board’s decision, he will be shifted to Covid First Line Treatment Centre (CFLTC) as a remand prisoner,” a top official said.