Life Mission probe: MLA Anil Akkara moves HC to resume construction work

In his plea, the MLA said that 140 families who would be the beneficiaries of this project will be affected if construction does not resume.
MLA Anil Akkara
MLA Anil Akkara
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MLA Anil Akkara on November 6 moved the Kerala High Court with a plea asking the court to intervene in the ongoing Life Mission case. The plea was to resume the construction of an apartment complex being built under the Life Mission project of the state. The project has been halted, after the CBI started a probe on the alleged Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violation in accepting foreign aids as part of the project.

The Congress leader and MLA of the Wadakanchery Assembly constituency filed a complaint on the alleged discrepancies in the LDF government’s housing project to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Following this, the agency registered a case and started a probe. In his plea to HC filed on Thursday, Anil Akkara argued that no authorities have issued to stop the implementation of the project; therefore, the construction should not continue to stall for public interest. He says that 140 homeless families, who ought to be the beneficiaries of the project, would be adversely affected if the completion of the project is delayed.

UAE-based humanitarian organisation Red Crescent had sponsored the Life Mission’s project in Thrissur’s Wadakanchery, to construct an apartment complex and a health centre for women and children. Red Crescent had, in August 2019, transferred 40% of the total project amount (Rs 20 crore) to the project’s contractors, and construction had commenced. However, after the controversial gold smuggling case surfaced, allegations were raised that the accused in the case had received a commission for the project in Wadakanchery. Allegations of FCRA violations were also raised.

“No investigating agency or any Court of law has interfered with the ongoing construction of the housing project in Wadakanchery. In the circumstances of the ongoing allegations, controversies and investigations are not liable to form impediments for the completion of the Wadakanchery Housing Project in a timely manner. In the circumstances, the sudden stoppage of construction work is uncalled for and illegal,” Anil Akkara said in his plea. He also added that the “beneficiaries of the project are unnecessarily prejudiced due to the delay in completion of the project.”

Notably, the MLA also stated that prior to Red Crescent’s entry, the state government had sanctioned Rs 1,309.7 lakhs for the construction of the apartment complex in Wadakanchery. He also claims that, even if the foreign aid is uncertain now, the project could be completed utilising the earlier amount sanctioned by the state government.

The CBI has booked the Managing Director of the contracting company and ‘unnamed officials of Life Mission’ under section 120 (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 35 (punishment for contravention of any provision of the act) read with section 3 (prohibition to accept foreign contribution) of the FCRA.

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