Kerala HC reserves order on plea for probe into CM’s daughter’s financial transactions with pvt firm

The Kerala High Court on Thursday reserved its order on a petition challenging a vigilance court decision rejecting a plea for probing the financial transactions of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter and her firm with a private company — Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd.

Justice K Babu reserved judgment after conclusion of arguments in the matter by the amicus curiae appointed by the High Court.

The High Court had already heard arguments on behalf of the prosecution.

The Director General of Prosecution, T A Shaji, who appeared for the state, said that the amicus told the High Court that the allegations in the plea were vague and therefore, the vigilance court had the options of outrightly rejecting it, ordering a preliminary probe or seeking a quick verification of the claims.

On the other hand, advocate B A Aloor, appearing for the now deceased petitioner Gireesh Babu, said that the amicus accepted the contentions in their plea.

Aloor said that the amicus told the High Court that the vigilance court ought to have ordered a preliminary enquiry based on the contentions in the plea before rejecting it.

A controversy erupted in Kerala recently over some financial transactions between the Kochi-based private minerals company and Veena and her IT firm.

Evidence also cropped up that showed the company had dealings with top leaders of both the ruling CPI(M) as well as the opposition Congress-led UDF.

The issue came to the fore after a Malayalam daily reported that Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd paid a total of Rs 1.72 crore to the CM’s daughter between 2017 and 2020.

The news report, citing a ruling of an Interim Board for Settlement, said the Kochi-based company previously had an agreement with Veena’s IT firm for consultancy and software support services.

Despite the fact that no service was rendered by her firm, the amount was paid on a monthly basis “due to her relationship with a prominent person”, the report said, citing the deposition of the minerals company authorities before the Income Tax Department.

However, Vijayan rubbished the charges and said the allegations were made to tarnish his image and defame him.

Babu, who has fought several high profile corruption cases in courts against political leaders and top bureaucrats, died at his residence in Kalamassery here in September this year.

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