Kickbacks collected to ‘buy’ verdicts: prima facie material found by Kerala HC vigilance wing against lawyer

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Saiby Jose Kidangoor allegedly took Rs 25 lakh from a Malayalam film producer to get a favorable verdict in the rape case against him.

After a detailed probe into the dealings of lawyer Saiby Jose Kidangoor, the Kerala High Court Vigilance wing has reportedly found prima facie sufficient material to establish that he collected lakhs of rupees from his clients on the pretext of bribing judges.

The issue surfaced when against Kidangoor, who was recently elected as the President of the Kerala High Court Advocates Association, allegations were levelled that he had taken a bribe of Rs 25 lakh on behalf of the high court judges from a Malayalam film producer accused in a rape case in order to get a favorable verdict. 

Thereafter, the High Court Vigilance wing conducted an inquiry on the basis of a High Court directive and in its report has stated that it found several instances where Kidangoor collected kickbacks from his client by taking names of high court judges. 

Reportedly, the Vigilance wing was told by a lawyer that Kidangoor allegedly collected Rs. 50 lakh from clients and Kidangoor and his friends had been threatening him ever since he revealed this on social media. 

The Vigilance wing has found Kidangoor liable for professional misconduct under Section 35 of the Advocates Act. Initiation of contempt of court proceedings against him as per Section 2 (c) of the Contempt of Court Act as well as disciplinary action by the Bar Council of Kerala has also been suggested by the Vigilance wing.

Apart from that, the Kochi police had registered a criminal case on the directions of the High Court registrar in wake of the report of High Court Vigilance wing. The Police are likely to submit a report to the State Police Chief on the inquiry. 

The police are in the process of collecting details from the lawyers who levelled allegations against Kidangoor.

[Source: The Hindu]