A Kerala Vigilance court has ordered a probe against Ernakulam District Collector MG Rajamanickam for allegedly making significant deviations in the standard clauses of the land acquisition deal done with Seematti for the Kochi metro.
Moovattupuzha Vigilance court was considering the petition filed by activist Gireesh Babu. The petition said that the Collector made the sale agreement favourable to Seematti.
The court has ordered the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) to conduct a quick verification and submit the report within 30 days.
“The complaint is forwarded to the Director Vigilance department to appoint an officer of suitable rank to conduct a quick verification of facts involved in the case and file a report to this court with a period of 30 days,” said the vigilance court order.
The allegations against the collector came up when KMRL Director (Finance) Abraham Oommen pointed out certain anomalies in the agreement, which have been allegedly made by the Collector to the government, in a letter dated February 4.
As per KMRL’s complaint, the Collector left a loophole in the agreement that Seematti could claim more than the agreed amount in court later. There were also clauses added in the agreement that were favourable to Seematti.
“In addition to the amount agreed upon, Seematti could get 30% of the total money as 'solatium' (a relief sum given for forceful takeover of land along with 10% interest of the amount while the case is being pursued as well as the extra amount to which they are legally entitled as per the clause signed). This can bring a huge loss to KMRL,” social activist and High Court lawyer JS Ajithkumar told The News Minute.
“Yet Seematti possesses an agreement for sale. Only negotiation deals have an agreement for sale. With the loophole clause present, all they need to do is take this agreement to court and get the amount they demanded from KMRL,” added Ajith.