Kerala politician held in cheque case in UAE released on bail

Thushar Vellappally, India’s ruling alliance NDA’s Kerala convener and the chief of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), BJP’s key ally in Kerala, has been released on bail after he was arrested in a cheque default case in the UAE on Wednesday.

Thushar, who contested against Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 general elections from Wayanad, was released on bail by Ajman Public Prosecution, but cannot travel without clearing a civil case, his uncle K.S.Vachaspathy confirmed to Gulf News.

“He was in Al Nuaimiyah Police Station. He is with me now. We are getting out of the court after getting bail,” said Vachaspathy, who is also the UAE central committee secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, the Ezhava community outfit in Kerala headed by Thushar’s father Vellappally Nateshan.

Vachaspathy said Thushar was held in connection with a Dh9 million cheque of his company that was closed down 11 years ago. “We have fulfilled the conditions for securing the bail. But, he will have to clear the civil case for travelling. We are sure that he will be able to do that because this is a clear case of cheating as he had never issued any such cheque in the name of the complainant. This must be a stolen cheque or Thushar’s confidante, with whom he used to keep blank cheques when he used to travel might have cheated.”

Another aide of Thushar said his company was closed down after completing all legal formalities. “An advertisement was also published in newspapers asking people who have any claims to approach the company. Nobody had made any such claims then. He has travelled to the UAE many times after the company was closed. His last visit was just two months ago.”

The case was filed by a Thrissur resident Nassil Abdullah.

Several political bigwigs and even Indian businessmen in the UAE were involved in negotiations to get the case closed, sources said.

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijan also wrote to India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar to seek his “personal attention and intervention.”

“All possible help within the limits of law needs to be made available to him,” he said in the letter.