Kerala PCC chief Sudhakaran named second accused in self-styled antique dealer Mavunkal cheating case

Sudhakaran claimed, in a statement, that it was an attempt by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPI(M) to end his political career.


Published Mar 06, 2024 | 8:56 AMUpdatedMar 06, 2024 | 8:56 AM

K Sudhakaran. (ksudhakaraninc/Facebook)

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief K Sudhakaran has been made the second accused in a charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch wing of the police in a cheating case, in which the prime accused is controversial antique dealer Monson Mavunkal.

A Crime Branch officer told PTI on Tuesday, 5 March, that Sudhakaran has been listed as the second accused in the charge sheet filed in court in a cheating case against Mavunkal in which he is accused of collecting ₹25 lakh from a man in the presence of the KPCC chief.

The complainant had alleged that Mavunkal collected ₹25 lakh from him for clearing procedures to obtain ₹2,65,000 crore from the self-styled antique dealer’s account in a foreign bank.

The complainant had also alleged that Sudhakaran was paid by Mavunkal.

Reacting sharply to the development, Sudhakaran said he was not intimidated by it and alleged that it was an attempt to distract public attention from the Congress protests against issues affecting the people and their anger towards the government.

Related: Kerala PCC president Sudhakaran arrested, granted bail in cheating case

‘Bid to end political career’

The KPCC chief claimed, in a statement, that it was also an attempt by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPI(M) to end his political career.

This is a case built on a conspiracy hatched by the CPI(M), he claimed and said that he would be moving the Kerala High Court to quash the allegedly fake case against him.

The KPCC chief, in his statement, also said that just because he cooperated with the investigation does not mean he can be made a victim of revenge politics.

He claimed that Mavunkal in a complaint filed in the Ernakulam POCSO sessions court, had explained the alleged attempts to implicate him (Sudhakaran) in the case.

Sudhakaran also claimed that opposition leaders were being targeted to build political armor for Pinarayi and cover up the government’s inability to address the issues of the alleged heinous murders committed by the SFI, salary disbursements, and wildlife harassment.

The KPCC chief was arrested in the case on June 23, 2023, when he was called for questioning in the case.

However, he was immediately released on bail in accordance with the directions of the Kerala High Court.

The High Court had on June 21 last year asked Sudhakaran to appear before the Crime Branch on June 23, 2023, and said that in the event he was arrested in the case, he would be released on bail on furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the like amount.

Related: Controversial antiques dealer Mavunkal sentenced to life for raping minor

Congress sees a conspiracy

The Congress strongly criticised the government for making Sudhakaran an accused in the case and alleged that the Left regime was using the police to “hunt” the opposition.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, VD Satheesan, also said that the police tried to arrest the KPCC president secretly after calling him to take his statement, but the court intervened and stopped it.

Satheesan contended that everyone knows that Sudhakaran has no role in the case and said that the issue would be dealt with legally.

He alleged that there was a conspiracy to make the KPCC chief an accused in the case.

When the allegations cropped up against Sudhakaran around three years ago, he denied them.

The issue had snowballed into a political controversy as images of Mavunkal, along with Sudhakaran, emerged.

Sudhakaran had then said that he had gone to Mavunkal’s residence for treatment, as the latter claimed to be a trained cosmetologist.

Mavunkal had allegedly made false representations about himself and his business to various people and collected money from them.

Many images of Mavunkal with senior police officers and bureaucrats of the state have surfaced.

Cherthala native Mavunkal, who claims to have rare and historic antiques, was arrested by the Crime Branch in September 2021.

He is facing charges of having swindled ₹10 crore from several people. Mavunkal was sentenced to life in a POCSO case for repeatedly raping a 17-year-old girl.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)