A day after the Kerala Lokayukta on Friday said that the state's Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel has no moral right to continue in office as he has "misused" his powers and indulged in "nepotism", asking Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take action against him, Jaleel on Saturday decided to approach the Kerala High Court.
Soon after the verdict came, Jaleel, said once he gets the details of the verdict he will take appropriate legal advice.
He had written on his Facebook page that this very same case when it came before the High Court he was given a clean chit and when a petition was given to the then Kerala Governor P. Sathasaivam- a retired Chief Justice of India, he too had exonerated him.
But, now with the fresh directive from the Lokayukta, he has decided to file a petition before the High Court on Monday and the vacation bench of the court will look into the matter on Tuesday.
The case pertains to an appointment made by Jaleel in 2018 when he had appointed his close relative K.T. Adeeb as General Manager of the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation. Since then the youth wing of the Indian Union Muslim League, the second biggest ally of the Congress-led UDF, has been up in arms.
The Kerala Lokayukta is headed by retired Supreme Court Judge Cyriac Joseph.
The appointment made by Jaleel triggered huge protests inside and outside the Assembly even though he defended it saying that the appointment was in order. He also got the support of the CPI-M, but later Adeeb had quit and returned to his bank job.
It was P.K. 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, in the 2006 debut Assembly elections, trounced the second topmost politician in the Congress led UDF -- P.K. Kunhalikutty, a former Minister and since then the former, though not a CPI-M card holder has become the blue eyed boy of Pinarayi Vijayan, who in 2016 appointed him as a Cabinet Minister.
Jaleel contested the April 6 Assembly polls from the Thavanur assembly constituency in Malappuram district.