Powerful SNDP Yogam supremo Vellapally Natesan on Wednesday suffered a major setback when the Kerala High Court dismissed his plea seeking quashing of an FIR registered against him over alleged fraud and financial misappropriation in a microfinance scheme.
The court also directed that the case be probed by an IPS officer of "impeccable integrity".
Besides that, Natesan is the supreme leader of the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a political outfit run by his son which is the second-biggest constituent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state.
It was in 2016 that the Kerala Vigilance Department filed the FIR against him for committing fraud and financial misappropriation in the microfinance programme run by the SNDP.
Of the five people named as accused in the FIR, Natesan is the first. One of the accused was discharged by the high court on Wednesday.
While dismissing Natesan's petition, the court also came down heavily on the Vigilance Department as it filed only a sketchy chargesheet, and directed that the state government should ensure that an IPS official with impeccable integrity probed the case.
Incidentally, in 2016, former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan had approached the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court in person and submitted a petition against Natesan, alleging that he had committed large-scale diversion of funds meant to be given at low rates of interest to beneficiaries under the microfinance scheme.
Acting upon the petition, the court had ordered a vigilance probe.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)