By LE Desk

Kochi, April 20: In a setback to former state Higher Education Minister K T Jaleel, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by him seeking to stay the Lokayukta findings that he had ”abused” his position as a public servant to obtain a favour for a relative.

A division bench of Justices P B Suresh Kumar and K Babu dismissed in limine the plea, observing that there were no procedural lapses from the Lokayukta as alleged by the petitioner, news agency PTI reported.

It said the Lokayukta report was furnished after examining all the files and documents in connection with the appointment of his relative as general manager in a state financial institution.

Mr Jaleel had resigned as the minister from the Left ruled government on April 13 after the Lokayukta held that he violated oath of office by appointing his relative to the post of general manager of Kerala State Minority Development Finance Corporation.

Mr Jaleel had argued that the Lokayukta did not have powers to consider the matter since it concerns prescription of qualification and appointment to a Minority Development Finance Corporation, which is specifically excluded from the purview of the probe under the Kerala Lokayukta Act. The state government had also supported Mr Jaleel, saying he was not given an opportunity to present his views before the Lokayukta.

In his plea, Mr Jaleel had alleged that the report was  prepared without conducting any preliminary inquiry or regular investigation.

A division bench of the Lokayukta, comprising Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Harun-Ul-Rashid, had recently submitted the report against Jaleel to the Chief Minister and had held that the allegation of abuse of power, favouritism and nepotism against the minister was proved.

The Muslim Youth League had on November 2, 2018 alleged that Adeeb KT, a cousin of Mr Jaleel, was appointed general manager in Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation, flouting rules.

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