Kerala PCC president Sudhakaran arrested, granted bail in cheating case involving Monson Mavunkal

Sudhakaran was arrested after nearly seven hours of interrogation at a Crime Branch facility. He was released on bail an hour later.

ByK A Shaji

Published Jun 24, 2023 | 12:21 AMUpdatedJun 24, 2023 | 12:22 AM

File photo of KPCC chief K Sudhakaran. (ksudhakaraninc/Facebook)

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president K Sudhakaran was on Friday, 23 June, arrested and released on bail in a cheating case involving fake antique dealer and POCSO case convict Monson Mavunkal.

Sudhakaran, representing Kannur in the Lok Sabha, was arrested after nearly seven hours of interrogation at a Crime Branch facility on the outskirts of Kochi.

An hour after his arrest, he was released on bail on executing a personal bond of ₹50,000 and two solvent sureties of an equal amount.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday, 21 June, directed the police to grant him bail if he was arrested. The court issued the order while disposing of the Congress leader’s anticipatory bail application.

The Crime Branch arrested Sudhakaran based on complaints that he helped Mavunkal cheat a few people.

The complainants claimed that they gave ₹25 lakh to Mavunkal in Sudhakaran’s presence to release ₹2.62 lakh crore withheld by the Union government.

The amount, Mavunkal reportedly told the men, was the proceeds from the sale of antique items to royals in the UAE.

The complaint against Sudhakaran

The complainants alleged that Sudhakaran promised them on 22 November, 2018, that he would intervene in his capacity as a member of Parliament’s Permanent Committee on Finance to get the amount released.


Self-styled antique dealer Monson Mavunkal. (Supplied)

The complainants — Yakub Purayil, Siddique Purayil, Anoop V Ahmmed, Salim Edathil, A T Shameer, and Shanimon of Kozhikode — had reportedly earlier given ₹10 crore to Mavunkal but hesitated to provide ₹25 lakh more, as demanded.

However, they gave ₹25 lakh more to Mavunkal on Sudhakaran’s assurance, they said.

The Congress leader took ₹10 lakh from the money they had handed over to the alleged conman, the complainants said.

Cherthala resident Mavunkal — arrested in September 2021 — was named as the first accused in the case in which the KPCC president is the second accused. The third accused, Inspector General of Police G Lakshman, has been granted anticipatory bail.

When the allegations cropped up against him two years ago, Sudhakaran denied them, saying that he had met Mavunkal on seven occasions to treat his skin disease. The KPCC leader said he was made to believe that Mavunkal was a dermatologist.

The issue snowballed into a political controversy as images of Mavunkal and Sudhakaran went viral on social media.

Related: Monson Mavunkal sentenced to life for raping minor

Fallout of a skin condition

Mavunkal had allegedly made false representations about himself and his business to several people and collected the money — at least ₹10 crore — from them.

Sudhakaran (centre) with Monson Mavunkal (fourth right). Supplied

Sudhakaran (centre) with Monson Mavunkal (fourth right). Supplied

After his arrest, several images of Mavunkal with senior police officers, including former DGP Loknath Behera, and bureaucrats surfaced on social media.

The Congress and its allies dubbed the arrest as a part of a political witch-hunt in the face of various allegations of financial mismanagement levelled against the ruling front leaders. The LDF, meanwhile, maintained that the law would take its course.

Sudhakaran said his anticipatory bail plea that prima facie extraneous reasons and political compulsion best known to the police were behind the notice asking him to be present in person before the Crime Branch.

The Congress leader said that he consulted Mavunkal for his skin diseases as advised by a common friend. He denied any role in Mavunkal’s dealings. The alleged conman, too, said Sudhakaran was not involved.

“I have already made it clear that I have no role in this cheating case involving Monson. I am sticking to that stand,” Sudhakaran told South First.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has initiated the process to investigate Mavunkal and his dealings.

Incidentally, a POCSO court on 17 June, sentenced Mavunkal to life imprisonment for repeatedly raping a 17-year-old girl, his maid’s daughter.

The Additional District and Sessions Court (POCSO) in Ernakulam also slapped a fine of ₹5.25 lakh on the Cherthala native.

A separate case against Mavunkal for raping the same individual after she had attained adulthood is under trial.