Probe against former CPI-M minister, 17 others

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 07, 2011 09:00 hrs

Thrissur (Kerala), July 7 (IANS) A vigilance probe was ordered against a former CPI-M minister and 17 others Thursday for allegedly causing a loss of Rs.19 crore to the exchequer over land transfer for a proposed Kerala cricket stadium.

The vigilance court here ordered the investigation against former minister S. Sarma and others in connection with the proposed Kochi Cricket Stadium, which has now been refused environmental clearance.

The move comes after a petition by human rights activists alleged that the state had lost precious money by way of taxes and that it was a corrupt deal. Sarma is from the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

In 2009, Sarma, as minister for registration, waived the registration fees and stamp duty for the 23.45 acre land that was transferred to the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) to build a state of the art cricket stadium.

Among others in the list of accused is KCA secretary T.C. Mathew and taxes secretary Marapandian.

The court also directed the vigilance department to submit its report before Sep 17.

Last month, central Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh ruled after meeting Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that at no cost could the proposed stadium come up at the site as it falls under Coastal Regulation Zone-1.

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