The Kerala Lokayukta on Friday stated that Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel was guilty of nepotism and that he has ‘misused’ powers, to appoint a family member in Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, by flouting norms. The case dates back to 2018 when Jaleel appointed his close relative KT Adeeb as General Manager of the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, under the Ministry of Minority Welfare in Kerala.
The Lokayukta has also asked the Chief Minister of Kerala to take action against the Minister. The Lokayukta has also declared that Jaleel should not continue as the Minister, reports Live Law.
According to the report, the Lokayukta bench headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Cyriac Joseph and former High Court judge Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid state that the Minister favoured his second cousin in personal interest and that he violated the oath of office to discharge duties as a Minister "without fear or favour, affection or ill-will”.
It had been Muslim Youth League, the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League, the second biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF, which had raised the complaint against Jaleel.
The move triggered huge protests inside and outside the Assembly even though Jaleel defended himself saying that the appointment was in order. Jaleel also got the support of the CPI(M), but later the same year in 2018, Adeeb quit the post and returned to his bank job.
It was PK Mohammed Shafi, a resident of Jaleel's home district Malappuram, who approached the Lokayukta. His counsel George Poonthotem said the verdict is very clear and the Lokayukta has said Jaleel has no moral right to continue as a Minister.
Jaleel contested the April 6 Assembly polls from the Thavanur assembly constituency in Malappuram district.
Meanwhile, KT Jaleel took to Facebook, saying, "It is in a case which former Supreme Court Chief Justice and former Kerala Governor Justice P Sathasivam dismissed. Further proceedings will be taken after getting the complete judgement order and in consultation with legal experts," KT Jaleel posted on Facebook.
(With IANS inputs)