Kerala HC asks CMRL MD to appear before ED in case related to CM Vijayan’s daughter IT firm

he Kerala High Court on Friday refused to give any relief to mining company CMRL’s CMD Sasidharan Kartha and asked him to appear before the Enforcement Directorate probing the money laundering case involving the IT firm of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan.

The Court’s directive came a day after the top officials of CMRL who were asked to appear before the ED on Thursday and Friday failed to turn up.

Kartha, who was served a notice to appear before the ED on Monday, on Friday, filed a petition in the court stating that since he has done no wrong, the summons served to him should be quashed.

But when the ED told the court that the probe had just started, the court agreed with its argument and dismissed Kartha’s petition.

This case is already being probed by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which had reached the office of CMRL and took statements from their top officials.

The Kochi office of the ED filed an ECIR in the case last month. The ECIR is similar to the FIR lodged by the police for cognizable offences.

This issue was first raised last year by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan, based on a media report, which quoted an Income Tax Department officer as saying that Veena Vijayan’s IT firm Exalogic had received Rs 1.72 crore from the mining company CMRL, in which the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has around 13 per cent stake.

When the SFIO began its probe, the KSIDC approached the Kerala High Court seeking a stay, which was disallowed.

Veena Vijayan, whose IT firm was based in Bengaluru and is now not in operation, approached the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay but was disallowed.

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Vijayan and the CPI-M, of late, are tight-lipped on this issue, after initially dismissing all charges as baseless.

Now with the court refusing to give any relief to Kartha, it’s just a matter of time before Veena could be served a notice by the ED. With the Lok Sabha polls around the corner, it could be a shocker for Vijayan and the CPI-M.

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