Kerala High Court Issues Notice to CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Others Over Corruption Allegations
Kerala High Court Issues Notice to CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Others Over Corruption Allegations

Kochi: On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court issued a notice to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his daughter Veena Thaikandiyil, and others in response to a petition filed by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan, accusing them of corruption. The petition demands a probe into alleged financial transactions between Veena’s now-defunct IT firm and a private mining company.

Justice K Babu issued the notice to CM Vijayan, his daughter Veena, her firm Exalogic Solutions, and the mining company Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL). The case is scheduled for further hearing on July 7. Opposition parties, including Congress, have been vehemently criticizing the Chief Minister, his daughter, and the ruling CPI(M) following reports that CMRL paid Rs 1.72 crore to Veena’s IT firm between 2017 and 2020. Allegations suggest that despite the lack of services rendered by her IT firm, monthly payments were made due to Veena’s relationship with a prominent individual.

Leader of Opposition in the Kerala assembly, VD Satheesan, expressed strong support for MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan's legal endeavors. Kuzhalnadan approached the High Court after a vigilance court dismissed his plea seeking a court-monitored probe into corruption allegations against the CM and his daughter. The vigilance court had rejected the complaint on May 6, citing insufficient evidence of corruption. In his plea, the Congress MLA sought a probe by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Department into allegations that Veena’s IT firm received monthly payments from CMRL in exchange for mining sanctions.

The alleged financial transactions have drawn scrutiny from several agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), and Income Tax Department. ED initiated a money laundering case against Veena and others on March 27, 2024, following a complaint filed by the SFIO. The SFIO was investigating suspected illegal payments for favors granted to a mining company by the Kerala government for sand mining in Alappuzha and Kollam coastal areas.

The case of alleged illegal financial transactions was initially brought to light by the Congress leader last year based on an Income Tax Settlement Board statement revealing that Exalogic Solutions received Rs 1.72 crore from CMRL. The Congress MLA's complaint alleges that CMRL made bogus payments to Exalogic Solutions and Mrs. Veena Thaikandiyil to secure favors from the CM and ensure the company's smooth operation. It further claims that monthly payments of Rs. 3,00,000 and Rs. 5,00,000 were made to Exalogic Solutions and Veena Thaikandiyil, respectively, under the guise of availing IT and marketing consultancy services.

Exalogic Solutions is identified as a one-person company, with Veena Thaikandiyil, the Chief Minister's daughter, serving as its sole director. Additionally, a similar petition alleging corruption by CM Vijayan was filed by a resident of Kochi, who has since passed away. During the hearing, the High Court appointed an amicus curiae and decided to hear both petitions separately.

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