LIFE mission case: Kerala HC grants permission to CBI to continue probe

Tanvi Sinha

Kerala High Court on 12th January 2021, dismissed all petitions from the CEO of LIFE Mission Project of Kerala Government and Santhosh Eappen, the MD of the contractor company against a CBI investigation, amidst alleged corruption charges.

The single-judge bench of Justice P Somarajan, however, stated that the liability of the crime would not be extended to the state even if the project was done during the execution of a policy by the government.

The court explained their rationale behind not holding the political elements liable by stating that even though the project was done on the bidding of the CM, the legislative does not make them responsible for the wrongdoings done in its course by the non-political members who were affiliated with the non-political IAS executive.

The court refused a stay on the CBI investigation that was declared by a bench of Justice V G Arun.

By dismissing the petitions the Kerala HC dismissed the stay as well, observing that this was done by a mastermind.

The case started in 2019 when it was alleged that the foreign money that was supposed to go into the project had gone inside the accounts of private contractors, the Unitac Ltd. and Sane Ventures which was a violation of the FCRA norms and consequently a complaint was filed by Congress member Anil Akkara to the CBI.