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Kerala HC Denies Interim Relief to 8 Accused Seeking Anticipatory Bail in Advocates’ Welfare Fund Scam

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Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 20, 2022 at 17:04 IST

Eight accused in the Scam involving misappropriation of over Rs. 7.5 crores from the Kerala Advocates Welfare Fund have moved the Kerala High Court seeking Anticipatory Bail in the Case.

When the matter was taken up, Justice K. Babu refused to grant Interim Protection to the accused and posted the matter on Monday for disposal. By this time, the parties have been directed to produce the relevant materials before the Bench for consideration.

The fund was constituted to provide Retirement Benefits and Social Security to Advocates in Kerala.

The source of the fund consists of amounts paid by the Bar Council, contributions made by the Bar Council, Voluntary donations or contributions made by the Bar Council of India or by any other Bar Associations and includes all sums by way of sale of stamps under Section 22 of the Kerala Court Fees and Suit Valuation Act.

Under Section 9 of the Act, the Trustee Committee shall administer the fund and shall hold the assets belonging to the funds and the trust.

However, according to the Petitioners, the same had not been done properly for some years.

Investigations revealed that there was large-scale misappropriation of the funds and that there was no Auditing since 2007. According to the Petitioners, a failure to audit the account for such a long period facilitated the culprits to misappropriate funds by playing fraud and manipulation.

When the CBI Probe was ordered, the Bar Council of Kerala had issued a press release disclosing that it does not plan to Appeal against the High Court’s decision and that the Council endorses the verdict of the Court. Following this, the Central Bureau of Investigation had registered an First Information Report to Probe the Scam recently.

As per the re-registered FIR, there are nine Accused – MK Chandran, an accountant with KAWFTC, and his eight acquaintances.