The Kerala High Court on Monday pulled up the state government for the delay in granting sanction to prosecute former Minister VK Ebrahim Kunju in the case pertaining to construction a foot over bridge (FOB) in Aluva. The High Court was making the statement while hearing a plea filed against the delay in the alleged Rs 4.2 crore scam case.
The case pertains to an alleged corruption scam over the construction of a 200-metre pedestrian bridge across Periyar River in Aluva, Ernakulam district. The bridge, which connects Kottarakadavu in Aluva town to the Mahadeva Temple on the bank of Periyar, was built in 2014-15 when Ebrahim Kunju was the Minister of Public Works Department during the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) regime.
The court has directed the Public Works Department to submit a report regarding this before March 20. Justice Sunil Thomas, who considered the plea filed by social activist Khalid Mundapailly, said that the report should be submitted in the Muvattupuzha Vigilance Court.
It was recently that Khalid Mundapilly filed a plea in High Court, alleging that there is a delay in prosecuting Ebrahim Kunju, MLA Anwar Sadath and a few PWD officials against whom the case has been booked. It is alleged that for the construction of the bridge, PWD, headed by Ebrahim Kunju, spent double the estimated cost for the work.
The bridge, built at a cost of Rs 14 crore, was part of an ambitious project of the then UDF government, named â€˜100 bridge in 400 daysâ€™. Before the bridge was constructed, a makeshift bridge was built every year during the annual Shiv Rathri celebrations, to allow access to the Shiva Temple.
In addition to the Aluva FOB case, the former minister is also under the lens of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in the Palarivattom flyover scam.
He has been accused of allocating funds to the builder, more than the permissible limit. His name surfaced after former PWD secretary TO Sooraj raised allegations against him.
On February 5, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had given nod to prosecute the former minister.