The Kerala High Court on Friday granted bail to former state minister and IUML MLA V K Ebrahim Kunju, arrested by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) in the flyover scam case, considering his ill health. Kunju was arrested on November 18 in connection with alleged corruption in the construction of a flyover at Palarivattom here during the previous Congress-led UDF rule.
The High Court had on December 14 dismissed Kunju’s bail application with the liberty to file a fresh bail application once he was discharged from the hospital, where he is now undergoing treatment for cancer while under judicial custody. Granting him bail on Friday, the court observed that there is admittedly a change of circumstances as far as his health is concerned.
“As far as the contents in ground of the bail application and the certificates produced by the petitioner, the state attorney submitted that there is no dispute on that. “If that is the case, I think the petitioner can be released on medical grounds with stringent conditions.
There can be a direction that the petitioner shall not leave the jurisdictional limit of Ernakulam district along with other conditions,” Justice P V Kunhikrishnan said in the order. The court granted him bail on the conditions of executing a bond for Rs two lakh with two solvent sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court and to appear before the Investigating Officer for interrogation as and when required.
The court also directed him to surrender his passport. Kunju moved the high court seeking bail after a Vigilance Court in Muvattupuzha recently dismissed his bail application.
The MLA, representing Kalamassery constituency in the state assembly, was quizzed by VACB sleuths at the private hospital where his arrest was recorded following which a magistrate visited the premises and remanded him to judicial custody. Prior to it, he was interrogated multiple times in the past by the agency in connection with the case.
The Vigilance has alleged that Kunju, then the Public Works Department Minister, sanctioned interest-free funds to the contracting company, which had built the flyover, now closed after it developed cracks within a year of its inauguration in 2016. The arrest came eight months after he was arraigned as an accused in the case.
Kunju has dismissed as “politically motivated” the charges that he was responsible for the poor quality of the bridge, built when he was the PWD minister in the previous UDF government headed by Oommen Chandy.