State Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel on Monday moved the Kerala High Court, challenging the Lok Ayukta report finding him guilty of abusing his position as a public servant to obtain a favour for his relative. In its report submitted to the Chief Minister last week, the Lok Ayukta had said that Jaleel should not continue as a minister.
In his plea, Jaleel alleged that the report was prepared without conducting any preliminary enquiry or regular investigation.
He submitted that the Lok Ayukta ought not to have entertained the complaint since the matter relates to the prescription of qualification and appointment to a Minority Development Finance Corporation, which is specifically excluded from the purview of the probe under the Kerala Lok Ayukta Act.
He also claimed that both the High Court and the Governor of Kerala had not entertained the petitions when the issue came up before them.
"It is submitted that the findings arrived at is perverse and not based on any materials. Further, the Lok Ayukta has not followed any procedure mandated under law to arrive at a finding," he said in his plea.
A division bench of the Lok Ayukta had said the charge of abuse of power, favoritism and nepotism against the minister has been proved.
The Muslim Youth League had on November 2, 2018 alleged that Adeeb KT, a cousin of Jaleel, was appointed general manager in the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, flouting rules. Adeeb was the manager of a private bank when the appointment was made.
"....this forum is satisfied that the allegation of abuse of power, favoritism, nepotism and violation of oath of office is substantiated against Dr KT Jaleel, Minister for Higher Education and Minority Welfare," the Lok Ayukta had said.
Jaleel had earlier alleged that the Muslim League was after him since 2006 when he won the Assembly seat from Kuttipuram constituency as an independent, with the Left Democratic Front's support.
"It was to appoint a person from a reputed financial institution. The corporation advertised for the post with MBA or B. Tech with PGDBA/CS/CA/ICWAI and three years' experience as the criteria. Seven people had applied for the post, out of which three appeared for the interview. They did not have the requisite qualification," Jaleel had earlier said, clarifying his stand.