Land transfer case: Vigilance quizzes VS
Thiruvananthapuram: A team of vigilance department officials Saturday arrived at the official residence of former Kerala chief minister VS Achuthanandan to quiz him on the controversial land transfer case, which occurred when he was chief minister during 2001-06.
This is the second time that vigilance department officials are taking statements from the present Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly.
Achuthanandan has been named the first accused by the vigilance, after a preliminary inquiry.
The first information report has already been filed before a court in Kozhikode early this year.
The investigating team has named four Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials, including the then principal secretary to Achuthanandan, Sheela Thomas, as accused in the case.
The others in the list include the then revenue minister and Communist Party of India (CPI) leader KP Rajendran, besides the personal assistant to Achuthanandan, Suresh.
In June last year, the Oommen Chandy government, after examining all files related to the transfer of land to TK Soman, a relative of Achuthanandan, ordered a probe by the vigilance department.
The Cabinet also decided to cancel the land allotment in Kasargode district involving Soman, a former defence official. The alleged land transfer took place at the fag end of Achuthanandan's tenure as the CM.
According to government norms, when land is given to people in the defence category, it should not exceed more than an acre. But Soman was given 2.33 acres.
As soon as he was named in the list of accused, Achuthanandan offered to quit as Leader of Opposition, but his party top brass in New Delhi asked him not to do so.