Centre Orders SFIO Probe Into Dealings Of Exalogic, IT Firm Of Kerala CM's Daughter

(MENAFN- IANS) Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 1 (IANS) The Centre has ordered a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into the dealings of the IT firm-Exalogic, owned by Veena Vijayan, daughter of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs ordered the probe on Wednesday.

For the past few months, the issue has been raging both inside and outside the Assembly after a media report, quoting an Income Tax Department official, claimed that Veena's firm had received Rs 1.72 crore from mining company CMRL, where the state-owned Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has a stake.

The issue was first taken up by first-time Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan and since then, it has been a free for all between the Opposition, the Vijayan Government and his party CPI(M).

When this issue was being discussed by the opposition and the CPI-M and its top leadership strongly defending Veena, a petition appeared before the Kerala High Court demanding the probe by SFIO and the Court asked "what's wrong if it happens."

The petitioner Shaun George, son of former seven-time Legislator PC George (both of who on Wednesday joined the BJP in the presence of national BJP leaders) submitted a fresh petition stating that only an SFIO probe would reveal the truth.

He said the present three-member team of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs probing the case might not be able to bring out everything.

In the Court, while George sought an SFIO probe, it was strongly opposed by the CMRL and KSIDC.

It was then that the court asked what was wrong if the SFIA also conducted a probe and expressed its ire on the delay in the response to this from the Centre.

The Centre has sought time for its reply on the issue and the court has now posted the case for February 5.

The SFIO acting on a preliminary probe by a three member team of Registrar of Companies submitted its findings, paving the way for the SFIO to take it up.

A six member SFIO team has been assigned to probe the dealings of all the three parties- Veena's firm, KSIDC and CMRL and submit its report.

A probe by the SFIO is the highest level of probe under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and they have enormous powers which includes even to arrest those who have erred.

The Congress party has criticised the Vijayan government of a "secret pact" between the Left party and the Sangh Parivar, after a lawyer with Ram Janmabhoomi-related case history was appointed to handle the alleged graft case of Vijayan's daughter Veena.

Senior lawyer C.S. Vaidyanathan, who was the counsel for Ram Lalla in Ram Janmabhoomi case, has been picked to represent the state-run KSIDC.





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