Kerala HC issues notice to Thiruvananthapuram mayor on plea seeking CBI probe into Municipal corporation’s Health division appointments

Kochi: Kerala High Court issued notice to Thiruvananthapuram Corporation Mayor Arya Rajendran on a petition seeking a CBI probe into the letter allegedly written to the communist Party of India (Marxist) CPIM District Secretary Aanavoor Nagappan over appointments to municipal corporation’s Health division 295 temporary posts.

While hearing the petition, Single Bench of Justice K Babu asked, “Is there any crime registered in the controversy?” The court observed that it would consider the plea after listening to the response of mayor Rajendran in this matter. 

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GS Sreekumar, former councilor of Thiruvananthapuram corporation, approached the Kerala High Court yesterday seeking a CBI probe or judicial investigation into an alleged letter written by the mayor over asking party member’s name for appointments in the Health Division of the Municipal Corporation on a contract basis. 

The petitioner represented by Advocate K. R. Rajkumar, stated in their petition that Mayor Rajendran and the LDF Parliamentary Party Secretary D.R. Anilb had requested the CPI(M) Party District Secretary to give a list of party names so that they could make appointments accordingly to various posts in Health Division of the Municipal Corporation. 

The petition alleged that the act of nepotism of the mayor and one of the councilors is very much against the oath taken by both of them at the time of swearing in as councilors in the corporation.

He further contended, “For the past two years over a thousand appointments were made in this fashion by the corporation and a detailed investigation into the matter is necessary. It is imminent that an inquiry needs to be initiated by an impartial authority who will not be fettered with the political high and mighty of the state.”

The petitioner further alleged that the interests of those “who are near and dear to their party” are taken care of, adding that the ruling party has taken over the recruitment process by appointing only those who are connected to the party. The petition said, “The action of the respondents (Arya Rajendran and Anil) literally is cheating the thousands who had applied based on the notifications. The procedure adopted by the respondents is to favour the party members or the persons who are to be made potential party workers.” 

Alleging that the situation is grim, the petitioner, as per a media report in the Mathrubhumi, contended, “The situation is so grim that if a person has to get government employment, even if it is on a contract basis, one should have party membership. This is a clear violation of the rights guaranteed under the Constitution for equal and fair competition for every citizen.” 

The petitioner added that they have also filed a complaint with the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau, noting that people in powerful positions would “help the Mayor and the LDF Parliamentary Party Secretary to hush up the matter.” 

Thus, while filing the petition, Sreekumar contended that the investigations needs to be conducted by an impartial authority “who will not be fettered with the political high and mighty of Kerala State”, reports the Live Law.  

In an alleged letter sent to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI (M) District Secretary Aanavoor Nagappan, Mayor Arya Rajendran demanded a priority list for appointing party members to 295 temporary posts in the Municipal Corporation. The letter mentions appointments to 295 temporary posts vacant in the health department on a daily wage basis.

However, the mayor has reportedly refuted the allegations and have called the letter fake. A political row has erupted over the issue as the opposition leaders demanded her resignation.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday demanded the resignation of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation Mayor Arya Rajendran over her alleged letter to Aanavoor Nagappan demanding a priority list for appointing party members to 295 temporary posts in the Municipal Corporation.

Tharoor termed the Mayor’s move as “disgraceful” and said, “Disgraceful that Thiruvananthapuram’s CPI(M) Mayor Arya Rajendran has been exposed asking her Party Secretary for names to fill vacancies in city government. At a time when India’s (&Kerala’s) youth are reeling from record levels of unemployment, this is a betrayal. She must resign!,” he wrote on Twitter.

Talking about the same, Leader of Opposition (LoP) of Kerala VD Satheesan also demanded her resignation. “Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation Mayor Arya Rajendran, who violated her oath by writing to the CPIM district secretary demanding the party’s priority list in the appointment of 295 employees in the health department, should resign. CPM should be ready to expel the Mayor if he does not resign,” VD Satheesan said.

“Department heads are also reluctant to report vacancies to the Public Service Commission (PSC) because CPIM state committee and district committee appointees continue to be appointed through the back door. Applicants from the PSC rank list are visiting ministers’ houses to report vacancies,” he further said adding that the letter has revealed the misdeeds of a government.

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