Land deal case: Vigilance team quizzes VS
By Express News Service - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
24th June 2012 11:33 AM
The Vigilance team probing the land deal case involving Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and his relative T K Soman recorded a fresh statement from the former on Saturday morning.
The two-hour long exercise was held at the Cantonment House, the official residence of the Opposition leader. The Vigilance team led by DySP K V Kunjan recorded the statement on the basis of a questionnaire given to Achuthanandan.
Addressing mediapersons after the quizzing, Achuthanandan maintained that he made only ‘some genuine interventions’ in the case but insisted that the land was assigned to T K Soman when late K Karunakaran was the Chief Minister in 1977.
“It was not me who gifted the land but Karunakaran. Soman, who was then attached to the Kannur military camp, could not use three acres of land allotted in Kasargod as the demarcated area was entangled in a case. Later,he was transferred to Delhi,eventually leading to the absence of follow-up by the beneficiary. But when he came back to the state after completing military service, he pursued it and filed a petition to the Revenue Minister in 2006, when I was the Chief Minister. By then, 33 years had elapsed. As an ex-service man,he was allotted 2.33 acres of land. He had appealed for a relaxation on the 25-year bar for transferring any land secured as a gift from the government, citing that the original allotment had come 33 years ago,” Achuthanandan said.
He said that Soman is the grandson of his mother’s sister. “He can be described as a distant relative,” he said.
Achuthanandan admitted that he had intervened for granting a relaxation to sell off the land in Kasargod. “Soman was residing far away in Alappuzha and it was not possible for him to look after the land,” he said. “Only a copy of the original petition given to the Revenue Minister was given to me. The Cabinet decided in favour.But when the Law Department raised some queries and objections,it was freezed,” Achuthanandan said.
The Opposition Leader charged that those who were accused in the Palmolein case and Ice cream Parlour Case were resorting to political revenge when they became Chief Minister and Minister.
“I spearheaded the palmolein and icecream parlour cases,” he pointed out.
Former Revenue Minister K P Rajendran is the second accused in the land deal case.
Four IAS officials are also among the list of accused. The Vigilance team’s mission on Saturday was intended for conforming Achuthanandan’s own earlier statement and those of others involved in the case. On the basis of the recorded statements and investigation, the Vigilance team is expected to file an FIR in the Vigilance court soon.
Achuthanandan reportedly told in party circles that he would step down from the Opposition leader’s post, if his name gets mentioned in the FIR.
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