‘Witch Hunt’: Kerala Min KT Jaleel Resigns Amid Nepotism Charges
Reserving orders on KT Jaleel’s plea, the Kerala High Court, meanwhile, refused to stay the Lokayukta report.
KT Jaleel, the Kerala Minister for Higher Education, Welfare of Minorities, Waqf and Hajj, on Tuesday, 13 April, submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, after he was held guilty of nepotism by the Lokayukta.
The Lokayukta had, as per The News Minute, found Jaleel guilty of nepotism for giving a government appointment to a relative, and had asked the CM to ask Jaleel to resign.
Jaleel had approached the high court to quash the Lokayukta order. However, he resigned just before the case came up in court.
Reserving orders on KT Jaleel’s plea, Kerala High Court, meanwhile, on Tuesday, refused to stay the Lokayukta report charging KT Jaleel with “nepotism, abuse of power and favouritism” in offering the government appointment to his second cousin by altering norms.
Announcing his resignation on Facebook, Jaleel said:
“This is a temporary victory for those who wanted to suck my blood. I am announcing with pleasure that I have given my resignation letter to the Chief Minister.”
He also added: “I am a public servant who has been subjected to an unjustifiable media witch hunt for the last two years.”
“This is not because I had stolen, neither was I corrupt nor did I make disproportionate assets. This was not because I caused even a penny’s loss to the public exchequer, neither because I have led a luxurious life, but there was a constant witch hunt,” he said.
Jaleel further wrote that he views it as “the greatest recognition in public life that the three Central Investigation Agencies have sifted through and examined and found no trace of error.”
“Any investigation agencies, including media investigation teams, are still welcome to my home a thousand times.”KT Jaleel
He also blamed a “media syndicate” that had purportedly targeted him with “renewed vigour” in the last three days and made sarcastic references to scams by other politicians.
Meanwhile, Kerala’s law minister had reportedly backed Jaleel, stating that many legal options were left before he resigned.
In November 2018, the Muslim Youth League had reportedly filed a complaint against Jaleel alleging that he had defied rules in a bid to appoint his cousin Adeeb KT as the general manager in the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation.
Adeeb was the manager of a private bank when the appointment was made, and the Youth League had claimed that his appointment was a consequence of nepotism, according to The News Minute.
Jaleel had in turn alleged that the Youth League was “after him since 2006” when he won the Assembly seat from the Kuttipuram constituency as an Independent, with the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) support.
He had further claimed that the report alleging that he had used his position to obtain a favour for a relative was prepared without a preliminary enquiry.
(With inputs from The News Minute.)
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