Indian Express: Kerala: Monday, September 26, 2016.
Though it has been 18 months since furniture and fixtures were destroyed in the commotion during presentation of the State Budget by the previous UDF Government, the `2.20-lakh loss to the exchequer is yet to be recovered from MLAs.
With the second session of the 14th Kerala Assembly beginning on Monday, NCPRI-Kerala (National Campaign For People’s Right To Information) state committee member M T Thomas has urged the Assembly Speaker to take immediate steps to recover the amount.
According to him, an RTI reply on the issue had stated that the estimated cost of the furniture and fixtures destroyed by the MLAs during the Budget session on March 13, 2015, was `2,20,093.
“The amount is neither recovered from the MLAs and others concerned so far, nor is it written off. In this context, it may please be noted that had it been a case involving an ordinary citizen, the amount would have been recovered long ago. No attempt has been made to recover the amount even one-and-half year after the incident as ‘VIPs’ are involved in the case. Does it mean that the rules of the country are not applicable to MLAs. As far as the common man is concerned, there is no constitutional exemption for MLAs from criminal cases,” Thomas said in a statement.
Six LDF MLAs of the previous Assembly were chargesheeted by the Crime Branch in the case, including CPM MLAs E P Jayarajan, V Sivankutty, C K Sadasivan and K Kunjahmed Master; K Ajith of the CPI; and Left Independent K T Jaleel.
Thomas said that as per the RTI reply, a case was registered at the Museum Police Station in Thiruvanthapuram (crime number 236/15 under Section-427,447 & 34 of the IPC and Section-3(1) of the PDPP ACT). “The Assembly Secretariat has not furnished information as to the present status of the case. It is learnt that the case is currently being investigated by the Thiruvanthapuram DySp (CBCID EOW-1,” said Thomas quoting the RTI reply.