Senior Kerala officer faces graft charges

Senior Kerala officer faces graft charges

The team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police K R Venugopal will be assisted by officials of the PWD.



By T K Devasia

Published: Fri 21 Nov 2014, 11:34 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:25 AM

Trivandrum — Close on the heels of suspension of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer on graft charges, a senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer has come under the scanner of the anti-corruption bureau in Kerala.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) has set up a special investigation team to assess the wealth of Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary T O Sooraj. The team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police K R Venugopal will be assisted by officials of the PWD.

The action followed seizure of documents related to properties held in his name and in the names of his family members in various parts of the state in the raids carried out simultaneously in his office and houses at Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut.

A preliminary verification by the VACB found that Sooraj had amassed assets worth more than Rs100 million. Documents pertaining to seven houses he and his relatives own in Trivandrum, Cochin, Calicut and Coimbatore and liquid cash worth Rs2.5 million were seized in the raid. Documents related to some ‘unholy’ deals with PWD contractors have also been seized.

His house at Vennala in Cochin is estimated to cost Rs35 million. A house his son bought at Kaloor in the city is worth Rs14 million. The VACB has also come across some documents indicating investments in Reliance Industries.

Sooraj has denied this. He said the cash recovered from his house at Trivandrum was that of his sister. He claimed this was part of the proceeds from the sale of her house for her daughter’s marriage. The VACB has filed a first information report against the senior officer at the Inquiry Commissioner and Special Court (Vigilance) in Trichur. According to sources, the VACB may recommend suspension of Sooraj after verifying the documents seized in the raids.


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