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No bail or agency custody for ill Kerala ex-minister

Thursday - November 26, 2020 6:21 pm , Category : INDIA
Kochi, Nov 26 (IANS) A special court in Kerala's Kochi on Thursday refused to give bail to arrested former minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, but also rejected the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau's (VACB) plea for custody.
Kunju, a senior legislator of the Indian Union Muslim League - the second-biggest party of the Congress-led UDF, was arrested by the VACB last week from a leading private hospital in the Palarivattom flyover collapse case.
His arrest was recorded by VACB last week while he was under treatment for multiple myeloma at the private hospital.
On Thursday, the Muvattupuzha vigilance court did not give the nod for either his bail or for the custody of the VACB, and instead asked the probe team to question him for a day on Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It also specified that he should be given adequate rest in between and should not be put under duress.
Kunju was earlier questioned a few times by the VACB over a graft case in connection with the flyover project. He is the fifth accused named in the case and his sudden arrest was seen as payback by the Pinarayi Vijayan government, after it became engulfed in numerous scams and allegations.
Built at a cost of Rs 42 crore during Congress leader Oommen Chandy's term as Chief Minister, the 750-metre flyover was supposed to last for over 100 years. It was opened in October 2016 but within three years started crumbling and had to be closed. Kunju was the minister concerned when the flyover was constructed.
Until his arrest, none knew about the present health condition of the otherwise soft-spoken and low-profile former minister.

--IANS sg/vd