Kochi, September 26: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case FIR against Santhosh Eapen, MD Unitech, San Ventures, and unknown persons as accused in the case into the alleged scam in the Life Mission project, a Kerala government scheme to provide houses to the needy. The CBI leveled charges against the accused under Section 35 read with sub-section 3 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), and Section 120 B (Criminal Conspiracy) of IPC.
It is the state government's comprehensive housing scheme for all the landless and homeless in the state. The target of the mission is to provide safe housing to nearly 4.30 lakh homeless people in Kerala within a span of 5 years. This entails modern housing complexes with the provision of livelihoods and social services such as primary health care, geriatric support, skill development, and financial inclusion.
The CBI on Friday conducted searches at two locations in Kochi after registering a case of an alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act in the Kerala government's Life Mission project for providing houses for the poor, officials said. The CBI will seek information from the CM and other ministers as part of the inquiry.
The anti-corruption unit has also registered a case under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). The FIR has been submitted at a special court at Kochi. CBI has also pointed out the need for further probe into the issue. The agency will probe the alleged discrepancies in the project, mainly whether the Kerala government violated the FCRA by accepting funds from Emirates Red Crescent, a United Arab Emirates-based NGO affiliated to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
This comes after Congress MLA Anil Akkara filed a complaint with CBI alleging fraudulence in the Life Mission project saying the plaint that the contracts of the project including that with UAE-based Red Crescent were illegal. He alleged corruption to the tune of Rs 9 crore in the construction of 140 flats in his constituency in Wadakkanchery.
Also, reports had stated that the gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh had reportedly confessed to receiving commission for the project. She received Rs.1 crore as commission from the project. Moreover, the Kerala govt had ordered a vigilance probe into the allegation of commission in connection with the Life Mission project at Wadakkanchery On September 24.