Thiruvananthapuram : Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Monday asked Santhosh Eapen to apologise or face legal action after he said the congress leader had received an iPhone from him.
In an affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court on Thursday, Unitac Builders head Eapen, an accused listed by the CBI in the 'Life Mission' project corruption case, mentioned Chennithala receiving an iPhone .
He claimed that Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case, had asked him to buy five iPhones to be given to VIP guests invited to the UAE National Day celebrations here in December last year. The affidavit claimed one phone was given to Chennithala.
In his legal notice, Chennithala has asked Eapen to first alter his affidavit and then publicly apologise in three prominent dailies or pay Rs one crore for the 'defamatory' statement.
Eapen's firm had got the contract for building the Life Mission flats project at Wadakkancherry in Thrissur. He filed the affidavit in the High Court in connection with his plea to seek quashing of the FIR registered against him.
Soon after Eapen's affidavit surfaced in the media, CPI-M state secretary went hammer and tongs against Chennithala.
However, Chennithala has denied this as a baseless allegation and then asked Eapen to apologise, if not face legal action.
In Life Mission project, billed as a pet project of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the construction of 140 flats was handed over to Eapen's firm. Swapna Suresh allegedly played a role in this as it was funded by the UAE-based charity 'Red Crescent' and routed through its Consulate.
Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the Consulate, had gone to the UAE along with the now-suspended senior IAS officer and Vijayan's former Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar, ahead of finalisation of this project.
On Thursday, the Vijayan government suffered a serious setback after the High Court gave its nod to the ongoing CBI probe. The Life Mission and other accused moved a petition to get the CBI FIR in the case quashed. The case is coming up later this week.
(This report from IANS has been edited)