ED has no case against Jaleel: CM

Mere questioning not a ground for resignation


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had no case against Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel. “There is neither any charge against him nor is Jaleel the subject of a criminal investigation,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the ED had received a slew of complaints against Dr. Jaleel. The petitioners had alleged that the Minister had received copies of the Koran from the UAE consulate for distribution during Ramzan illegally. They also stated that the Koran import was a cover for smuggling gold. The agency wanted to verify the integrity of the complaints and found Dr. Jaleel’s answers to its queries satisfactory.

Mr. Vijayan said accepting and distributing the Koran was not a criminal offence. Moreover, Dr. Jaleel had interacted with the UAE consulate in his capacity as Minister for Minority Welfare and Wakf. “There should not have been a controversy over receiving the Koran,” he said. Dr Jaleel had clarified that the Koran parcels were intact. They remained unopened in a secure location.

Mr. Vijayan said a mere summons by an investigating agency was not a ground for quitting office.

He said misleading complaints to law enforcement to put opponents on the back foot was usual in politics. The Central Bureau of Investigation had summoned Mr. Vijayan in 1996 based on a petition that he had received ₹2 crore as bribe.

“The petitioner said I promised to unduly favour the bribe-giver when I took charge as Power Minister. At the time, the electoral process had just started and there was no guarantee that the Left Democratic Front would assume power or I would take oath as Electricity Minister,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan said the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were propagating extreme conspiracy theories against Ministers and their families. Some news outlets were backing them without checking facts.

Indira, the wife of Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, was the victim of a media witch-hunt because she had gone to take a one-sovereign gold chain from a bank locker.

The scandalmongers also insinuated without evidence that Central agencies were probing Mr. Jayarajan’s son on the charge of partnering with Swapna Suresh, the accused in the gold smuggling case.

Mr. Vijayan slammed the attempt by BJP workers to “imperil” Dr. Jaleel by attempting to drive a car into his motorcade at Paripally on Sunday and the “unruly” protest by Youth Congress workers against RSP MLA Kovoor Kunjumon in Kollam.