Thiruvananthapuram : A day after he was accused of accepting an iPhone from the accused in the gold smuggling and Life Mission cases, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Friday denied the charge and warned of legal action against those "spreading canards" against him.
In an affidavit filed in the Kerala High Court on Thursday, Unitac Builders head Santhosh Eapen, an accused listed by the CBI in the Life Mission project corruption case, mentioned that gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh had asked him to buy five iPhones to be given to VIP guests invited to the UAE National Day celebrations here in December last. The affidavit claimed that one phone was given to Chennithala.
Eapen's firm had got the contract for building the Life Mission flats project at Wadakkancherry in Thrissur. He had filed the affidavit in the High Court in connection with his plea to seek quashing of the FIR registered against him.
"No one has given me anything, nor have I taken an iPhone from anyone. The phone that I use has been purchased by me. I have not met Eapen at all. Maybe under the guise of giving it to me, it would have been given to someone else. I will take legal action against baseless canards spread against me. It's too cheap to level these allegations," said the Leader of the Opposition.
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, in which Swapna Suresh allegedly played a role as it was funded by UAE-based charity Red Crescent and routed through the UAE Consulate.
Swapna Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, had gone to the UAE along with 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 directed that the ongoing CBI probe go ahead, after Life Mission and other accused moved a petition to getn the CBI FIR in the case quashed.