The Kerala High Court on Wednesday said it would be better if the contributions coming in response to the call given by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to rebuild Kerala are kept in a separate account. A final verdict in the matter is, however, yet to come.
The court's suggestion came while hearing a PIL petition demanding that a suitable decree be passed to ensure that contributions coming for rebuilding Kerala after the state suffered its worst floods be kept in a separate account and its utilisation be overseen by a high court-empowered committee.
Since August 15, when Vijayan made an appeal to one and all to contribute to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), contributions started flowing in and now the fund has reached the size of over Rs 600 crore.
Hearing the petition, Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy said it would be better if the entire money is kept in a separate account and the state government ensures that it is used only for this specific purpose.
Appearing for the state government, Advocate General CP Sudhakara Prasad assured the court that every money received would be accounted for and utilised only for the rebuilding purposes.
The court posted the case for hearing on Friday.
Wednesday also saw Leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala reiterating his demand that there should be a separate account for the collections to rebuild Kerala.
"We have been demanding that since this money is specifically coming to rebuild Kerala in the aftermath of the worst-ever floods, it should be used only for this and nothing else," Chennithala told reporters in Kochi.
State BJP President PS Sreedharan Pillai in Kannur expressed doubts if rebuilding Kerala is a CPI (M) sponsored programme.
"Things till recently were going in the right direction, but now things appear to have changed as a section of the fishermen engaged in the rescue act were not called to attend the felicitation programme organised by the state government. If the CPI (M) is changing the rules of rebuilding a new Kerala, then the BJP also will be forced to think on alternate lines," said Pillai.