100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Latest National news:
Northstars skipper expects strong challenge from Ice Dogs
The two sides play a double-header this weekend.
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Master pianist at City Hall
"Australian audiences are my favourite because folks are so open to what you have to offer and they respond positively…
Australian election briefing: Morrison has a leaky cabinet while Albanese campaigns with Julia Gillard – plus the vibe is tired
Friday: The best of Guardian Australia’s 2022 federal election coverage
Road closures following fatal crash on Kingsford Smith Drive
ACT Policing are attending the scene after a road death on Kingsford Smith Drive.
Pharmacist's rego suspended after she stole 'an awful lot' of tablets
A pharmacist has had her registration suspended for six months after the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal found she stole…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Bus cancellations due to staff COVID outbreak
More than 30 Transport Canberra staff have contracted COVID-19, causing bus cancellations across the network.
Australian federal election 2022 live: final polls roll in as Albanese and Morrison hit home stretch of campaign
Follow all the day’s developments

CBI questions Eden in alleged sex-for-favour accusation

By Special Correspondent

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reportedly questioned Congress leader Hiby Eden, MP, as part of its probe into a sex-for-patronage scandal during the tenure of the previous Oommen Chandy government.

By one account, the CBI interrogated the MP in a Central government facility in Ernakulam.

The investigation has arguably come at an inopportune moment for the Congress, which is locked in a tight electoral fight with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] in the byelection for the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency.

Besides, Mr. Eden's examination indicates that the CBI would move to question other Congress leaders named as accused in the sensational case, thereby generating adverse publicity for the Opposition in the run-up to the pivotal bypoll.

The respondents include Mr. Chandy; (AICC) general secretary (organisation) K.C. Venugopal; former Ministers Adoor Prakash and A.P. Anil Kumar; Hiby Eden, MP; Abdullah Kutty, currently a top Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary.

Congress fears that the CBI case could perhaps accord a propaganda advantage to the CPI(M) at the hustings. The investigation could prove a distraction from the electoral priorities of the Opposition, including the anti-Silverline (K-Rail) campaign.

The complainant is a woman speculator accused of spearheading a solar energy investment racket that caused sizeable financial loss to scores of persons who sunk money into the "dubious" venture, believing that it had government backing.

She had alleged that a galaxy of Congress leaders had extorted sexual favours from her, promising State support for her enterprise. The case has provenance in a damning observation by the judicial commission appointed by Mr. Chandy to probe the scandal.

The commission had recommended that the police probe those persons named by the woman as her sexual exploiters. The Pinarayi government, which came to power in 2016, accepted the commission's recommendations and ordered an investigation.

In the run-up to the Assembly elections in January 2021, the government dropped a political bombshell by referring the case to the CBI. Mr. Chandy had claimed the case had no legal or factual merit. It smacked of political vendetta. The High Court had expunged the commission's findings, and multiple investigators had found no merit in the accusations.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.