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Nepotism case: Kerala Higher Education and Minority Affairs Minister KT Jaleel resigns

The Minister resigned after the Lokayukta finding that he had violated the oath of office and engaged in nepotism.

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Minister for Higher Education, Minority Welfare, Hajj and Wakf, KT Jaleel resigned from the post on Tuesday.

The Minister resigned after the Lokayukta finding that he had violated the oath of office and engaged in nepotism.

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The Lokayukta, in its verdict on April 9, found the Minister guilty in the appoint of his relative K T Adeeb as general manager in the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation Limited. Lok Ayukta Cyriac Joseph and Upa Lok Ayukta Harun-Ul-Rasheed ruled that the Minister violated the oath of office and showed favouritism by tweaking the qualifications to favour his relative.

According to the Lokayukta report, the Minister was involved in issuing a notification to allow relaxation in qualification for his relative’s appointment.

The appointment was made without inviting applications or providing opportunity to other eligible candidates.

Earlier, the Lokayukta handed over its report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking the Minister’s removal from his post.

However, Jaleel had already approached the Kerala High Court against the Lokayukta report which recommended his ouster over nepotism charges.

He claimed that the Lok Ayukta has passed the verdict in a case that was dismissed by the Kerala High Court and former Kerala Governor P Sathasivam.

However, the Minister resigned soon after he moved the High Court on the matter.

The resignation which was submitted to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been forwarded to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan this noon.

Though he joined the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the students’ wing of the Indian Union Muslim League, he was ousted from the MSF following differences with the leadership of IUML. Later, he continued his social work with the support of CPI(M)-led LDF.

He was elected as an MLA for the first time in 2006, from Kuttippuram constituency as LDF supported Independent candidate, defeating the then IUML General Secretary P K Kunhalikutty.

In 2011, he was elected from Thavanoor constituency, defeating V V Prakash of Indian National Congress. In 2016 he was reelected from Thavanoor, defeating P Ifthiquarudheen of Indian National Congress.

Jaleel was also accused of links to the controversial diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case. Earlier, he was questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the case.

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