Achuthanandan's son appears before vigilance probe team

Thiruvananthapuram, June 27 (IANS) V.A. Arunkumar, the son of CPI-M veteran V.S. Achuthanandan, Thursday spent over three hours before a vigilance team probing specific charges laid against him by the Congress in 2010 when his father was the Kerala chief minister.

After coming to power, the Oommen Chandy government had ordered a vigilance probe into the charges in June 2011.

Arunkumar, who is an additional director of the state-run Institute of Human Resources Development, then approached the Kerala High Court seeking an interim order to stop the vigilance probe against him but failed to get any relief.

Since then, the investigation was in a limbo and it was only Wednesday that the vigilance served Arunkumar notice to appear before them at 2.30 p.m. Thursday.

Achuthanandan, chief minister from 2006 to 2011, had then dared Chandy that if he gave the allegations against his son in writing, he would order a probe by a police official nominated by Chandy.

However, on receipt of Chandy's letter, Achuthananda asked the Lokayukta to inquire, which was objected to by Chandy, who contended that the state ombudsman could not probe some of the allegations because they were out of his purview.

The charges laid by Chandy had included Arunkumar taking a bribe of Rs.7 lakh from the sandalwood mafia in 2004, his role in scuttling a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the lottery scam besides the allegations of corrupt deals that had risen when he was the managing director of a state-run organisation during the E.K. Nayanar-led Left government (1996-2001).

Among the other issues were Arunkumar's numerous foreign trips and also how he managed to get membership in posh clubs which the rich and mighty frequent.

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