Veena George defends personal staffer accused of taking bribe

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 27 (IANS): Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Wednesday defended one of her personal staffers who has been accused of taking money from an individual for the posting of his daughter-in-law in the Health Department.

George said this while speaking to the media after an allegation surfaced that the staffer, Akhil Mathew, took Rs 1 lakh from a Malappuram resident, Haridasan, whose daughter-in-law -- a doctor -- had applied for a job in the Health Department.

"I was told by my private secretary about such an allegation and I immediately told him to see that a written complaint is put in. On September 13, we got the complaint, and on September 20, I informed this to the Chief Minister.

"I also spoke to Mathew and he categorically denied doing such a thing. On September 23, I asked my private secretary to file a complaint on behalf of my office about the allegation and Mathew was also asked to file a separate complaint as his name had surfaced," she said.

A middleman in this 'job scam' has been identified as Akhil Sajeev. Haridasan said that he was asked to pay Rs 5 lakh. He paid Rs 1 lakh to Mathew on March 11 and Rs 75,000 to Sajeev.

Sajeev, according to George, was a former party trade union leader and had been ousted from the party and all other posts a few years ago as "he was engaged in corrupt practices".

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition, V.D. Satheesan said the allegation that has come up is grave and serious in nature as the Minister acted after a long time.



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Title: Veena George defends personal staffer accused of taking bribe

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