In a startling revelation, the inspection wing of the finance department has discovered financial misappropriation within the management committee of the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, with notable figures such as Pradeep Pillai, Chief of News 18, serving as the president, and K.R. Ajayan, News Editor of Desabhimani, acting as the secretary. It has been reported that an amount of Rs. 25 lakhs has been misused by the previous governing body.
Following the discovery, the inspection wing issued a notice to the current office bearers of the press club and conducted a thorough investigation, scrutinizing various documents, including the bank statements. The incumbent governing body, headed by President Radhakrishnan and Secretary Sanu, informed the inspection wing in writing that the previous governing body, led by Pradeep Pillai, failed to hand over the government funds or provide expenditure details to their successors.
In response to this revelation, the inspection wing summoned Pradeep Pillai and Ajayan to the press club for further evidence gathering. However, their submitted figures did not align with the available documents at the press club. Consequently, a notice was issued for them to appear once again for evidence-taking. However, both Pillai and Ajayan chose to abstain from the process.
As a result of their absence, the inspection wing has reached a conclusion that financial irregularities were indeed committed by Pradeep Pillai’s governing body, thereby affirming the claims made by the current governing body.
It has been disclosed that an investigation report, based on the documents obtained from the press club, will be submitted in June, shedding more light on the extent of the financial misconduct.
Furthermore, the Inspection Wing is also set to initiate an inquiry into the misappropriation of government funds worth Rs. 25 lakhs allocated to the Thiruvananthapuram Kesari Memorial Trust for a digital library. Additionally, a separate investigation is being conducted by the finance department’s inspection wing into the alleged embezzlement of government funds amounting to Rs. 2.5 crores.
In a related development, the Deputy Collector has commenced confiscation proceedings against the Wayanad Press Club, as it has failed to comply with instructions to repay illegally obtained MP funds worth Rs. 25 lakhs.
These revelations have raised serious concerns regarding financial transparency and accountability within prominent press clubs and organizations in the state. The investigation’s findings are expected to have significant ramifications for those involved and may lead to further legal actions and repercussions.