SFIO seeks details from companies linked to Kerala CM’s daughter's firm

Kochi, March 14 (IANS) The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which is probing Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena Vijayan’s IT firm Exalogic, has asked about a dozen companies in Kerala to appear with all documents related to the dealings with the company on Friday at its Chennai office.

Last month the Karnataka High Court had refused to stay the probe.

The SFIO is acting on the findings of the preliminary probe into the company conducted by the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

Prior to the ROC investigation, this issue was first raised by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan on the basis of a media report, quoting an Income Tax Settlement Board saying that 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.

The SFIO has already taken statements from CMRL and KSIDC officials. Veena Vijayan is the sole director of her firm.

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The companies have been asked to appear with the business contracts, invoices and all documentary evidence of the business done with Exalogic.

The single bench of the Kerala High Court, Justice Devan Ramachandran orally remarked on Tuesday, “It is to protect your (KSIDC) credibility that I am saying this…You should cooperate with them, actually. It is left to you to take a call, I am not saying you should, I am saying normally you should have been happier that your name is cleared because you have a nominee director on the Board of CMRL,” remarked the Court.

In the Court, the Additional Solicitor General of India, Arwind Kamath submitted that SFIO has the power to investigate, and also pointed out that the investigation conducted by the SFIO will help KSIDC to know if CMRL had carried out illegal transactions without the knowledge of KSIDC.

With the Lok Sabha polls near, the Congress-led UDF and the BJP-led NDA are likely to go aggressive with the issue.

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–IANS

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