Vigilance lodge FIR against Kuzhalnadan over alleged illegal land dealings

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Idukki: The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau on Wednesday filed an FIR against Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan and 20 others in connection with the alleged illegal conversion and registration of land in Chinnakanal area.
The anti-corruption agency, in its initial inquiry, has found that the Muvattupuzha MLA’s resort was located on government land which could not have been converted or registered, sources said. The land in question was converted and registered much before Kuzhalnadan purchased it in 2020, but it is suspected he was aware of it when he bought it, a Vigilance officer said.

The MLA has been arrayed as the 16th accused in the case which was registered on Tuesday. Besides Kuzhalnadan, three retired government servants, including a former Tehsildar of the area, and five in-service government employees are also arrayed as accused in the FIR. “The FIR was submitted in the vigilance court on Wednesday,” the officer said.

Reacting to the development, Kuzhalnadan claimed that just like Narendra Modi uses the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against his political opponents, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan uses the VACB. “What is the ED to Modi, the VACB is to Pinarayi Vijayan. Anyone who points out his (Vijayan) mistakes, their voices are silenced by using government agencies just like Modi does,” the Congress MLA alleged.

Besides the issue of alleged illegal conversion and registration of the surplus land, Kuzhalnadan is also in unlawful possession of 53 cents of government land which had been encroached upon by the previous owners. The accused in the FIR have been booked for various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the IPC and the Land Conservancy Act, the officer said.

Allegations of illegalities in connection with Kuzhalnadan’s resort in Chinnakanal area of Idukki district cropped up after he accused Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter, Veena T, of receiving monthly payments from the Kochi-base CMRL.
(With PTI inputs)

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