The Kerala High Court on Friday issued notice to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his daughter T Veena and some other political leaders in connection with alleged financial transactions between a private mineral company and her IT firm.
High Court judge Justice K Babu also issued notice to Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leaders P K Kunhalikutty and V K Ebrahim Kunju, as well as Veena’s firm Exalogic Solutions, among others.
The court had earlier appointed a lawyer as amicus curiae to argue for and on behalf of the petitioner social activist Gireesh Babu of Kalamassery who had died during pendency of the case.
The high court was hearing a revision petition by Gireesh challenging the order of the Vigilance Special Court, Muvattupuzha which had dismissed a plea for an investigation into the alleged illegal financial transactions between Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL) and Veena’s firm and the suspected political leaders involved, for want of evidence.
When reporters asked the chief minister about the high court notice at a press conference held here, Vijayan today dismissed the question and told the journalists not to worry about it as the notice was issued to him.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan on Friday alleged that the Enforcement Directorate was not looking into the allegations as the Left party and the CM have a “deal” with the BJP.
A controversy had erupted in Kerala after a Malayalam daily reported a few months ago that CMRL had paid a total of Rs 1.72 crore to the CM’s daughter between 2017 and 2020.
The news report cited the ruling of an interim board for settlement, and said that CMRL previously had an agreement with Veena’s IT firm for consultancy and software support services. It also alleged that although no service was rendered by her firm, the amount was paid on a monthly basis “due to her relationship with a prominent person”.
The vigilance court had said that apart from the general allegations made, the complainant had not furnished any material facts which would show that the political leaders had done any favours to CMRL in their capacity as public servants in return for the alleged payments.
The vigilance court had also noted that the order of the Interim Board for Settlement dated June 12, 2023 “does not show a prima facie case of commission of any offences” punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“As the complaint and the materials produced along with the complaint do not disclose sufficient material facts which will show that any of the respondents have committed any offences punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, this complaint is liable to be rejected,” the vigilance court had said in its order.
It also said nothing was disclosed in the complaint showing that the payment to Veena and her firm by CMRL was towards any particular favours or benefits received by the company from the chief minister.