The PMO started an investigation against V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, on the protocol violation case for allowing a PR professional woman to take part with him in the Foreign ministers meet held in UAE. Arun Chatterjee, joint secretary of the External Affairs Ministry is assigned to submit the report on the issue.
Smitha Menon, a public relations expert who was in UAE on visiting visa was allowed to represent the Ministerial Conference on Indian Ocean Regional Cooperation (IORA) held in Abu Dhabi last year. The meeting was attended only by foreign ministers and higher officials from 22 countries. The filer of Litigation-Saleem Madavoor, Loktantrik Yuva Janata Dal's national representative, contacted the PMO to investigate as to why Smitha was present at a meeting of this nature. K.P. Fabiyan, political expertise and ex-ambassador have also come forward commenting on this incident as a violation of the law.
Miss Menon, while being on her visit to UAE, has taken part in a conference with Muraleedharan as a PR official and has also reported the conference. She was later given the state secretary post at BJP's Mahilamorcha.
Initially, Muraleedharan denied the fact that he granted permission to Smitha, but it got contradicted after she agreed that the minister had allowed her. He later justified as permitting Smitha was because she was a media person. At the same time, it has been found out that Smitha was not a part of the official team of the external minister.
KT Jaleel, LDF cabinet minister is also alleged with a similar protocol violation case. The opposition has alleged this case against Muraleedharan is a move to divert from the accusations against the government regarding the gold smuggling case and others.
Meanwhile, Smitha Menon filed a case for defaming her through social media. She filed a complaint to the Kochi City Police commissioner alleging that the social media is depicting her family and her in a bad light.