India: Vigilance to conduct QV against LDF minister Mercykutty Amma over corruption charges
02 Jan. 2017
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, JANUARY 02
Vigilance director Jacob Thomas on Monday ordered a quick verification (QV) probe against minister for fisheries and cashew industry J Mercykutty Amma.
The decision to order QV came on a complaint filed against the minister by one P Rahim alleging corruption to the tune of Rs. 10.34 crore in the procurement of raw cashew by the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation (KSCDC) in the months of August and September.
The QV will also cover allegations of involvement of the minister’s husband B Thulaseedhara Kurup in the alleged corruption.
The minister told reporters that she welcomed the probe.
The corruption charges against the minister were first raised by opposition legislator V D Satheesan in the assembly.
Satheesan had alleged that the Kerala Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Cooperative Society (Capex) had turned down a tender to procure Ivory Coast raw nuts citing exorbitant price quoted in the tender.
However, capex later accepted another tender for raw nuts that quoted a higher price than the previous tender, thus incurring a loss, he had alleged.
The minister had then rubbished the allegations and had offered to quit if the charges against her were proven.
Mercykutty Amma had reasoned that Satheesan’s allegations stemmed from a misunderstanding.
Satheesan had confused the procurement price quoted in rupees with the price recorded on the tender, which was in dollars, she had said.