A Kerala-cadre IAS officer arrested over allegations of corruption related to a Rs 40-crore flyover project that will now be re-built has claimed he "acted on minister's orders". TO Sooraj, who was arrested last month and sent to 14 days judicial custody, spoke to the press today while being transferred from the court to the jail and said he acted on orders issued by VK Ebrahim Kunju, the then Public Works Minister in the Congress-led UDF government.
"The advance fund was transferred to the builders based on recommendations by the Managing Director of the Roads & Bridges Development Corporation Kerala (RBDCK). The recommendations had passed through five different officials and were approved by the Minister," Mr Sooraj said.
"And it was after this that I gave sanction for mobilisation advance, and with this I recommended for the interest to be taken," he added.
VK Ebrahim Kunju, an MLA who represents the Kalamassery assembly seat, has already been questioned by the Vigilance & Anti Correction Bureau; his involvement in the case has come under the scanner after recent statements by Mr Sooraj.
The project in question - the Palarivattom flyover in Kochi that cost more than Rs 40 crore to build - will now be re-built under the supervision of E Sreedharan - the 'Metro man of India' - after structural faults were discovered.
Experts referred to by both the ruling CPM party and Mr Sreedharan have ruled out re-strengthening of the current structure as an option.
Ebrahim Kunju, an Indian Union Muslim League Leader, has rubbished the allegations, describing them as "baseless and false", and said "there are records to prove everything". His party has also backed him and welcomed any probe into the matter.
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