Judicial Commission submits report on Kerala Vizhinjam port

Oomen Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram: The Judicial Commission appointed by the state government to look into alleged lapses in the Rs 7,525 crore Vizhinjam Port project Monday submitted its report to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The government had in May 2017 constituted the inquiry commission to look into the Vizhinjam Port Project with the Guatam Adani group in the backdrop of a Comptroller and Auditor General report finding lapses in the deal.

Retired High Court judge Justice C N Ramachandran Nair, who headed the three-member commission, said that corruption was outside the scope of the enquiry.

Asked about media reports that a clean chit had been given to former Congress-led UDF government, he said “nobody came forward with any specific corruption charges against any individual and nobody ventured to give any evidence. When there is no allegation of corruption against anyone, there is no need to investigate corruption against anyone. That is why commission has not found corruption against anyone,” Justice Nair told PTI.

Vizhinjam Port

On the lapses pointed out by the CAG on various aspects of the contract, he said the commission had made enquiries. “We have made our comments, some agreeing, some disagreeing.” The nearly 100 page report will be placed before the state Assembly.

The decision to set up the panel under the Commissions of Enquiry Act was taken following the findings by the CAG that the “state’s interests were not protected while signing the agreement and there were lapses.”

Retired IAS officer K Mohandas and former Indian Audit and Accounts Service official P J Mathew are the other members of the inquiry commission. The agreement for the Vizhinjam International Transhipment Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport was signed with Gujarat-based Adani Ports and SEZ Private Ltd during the previous Congress-led UDF state government headed by Oommen Chandy.