CMRL pay-off case: Kerala HC issues notice to Pinarayi Vijayan, Veena on Kuzhalnadan's plea

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday sought a response from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan’s plea for a probe against the CM over the alleged financial transactions between his daughter’s now-defunct IT firm and a private mining company.
Besides the CM, Justice K Babu also issued notice to Vijayan’s daughter, Veena, her firm Exalogic and the mining company Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL), seeking their stand on the MLA’s revision petition.

Kuzhalnadan moved the high court after a vigilance court rejected his plea for an investigation against Vijayan over the alleged financial transactions between CMRL and Exalogic. The vigilance court had said that necessary facts constituting corruption were absent in the plea.

Kuzhalnadan had initially approached the Special Vigilance Court here, saying the Vigilance Department refused to probe the financial transactions between CMRL and Exalogic. Later, he changed his stance and sought a court-monitored probe into the alleged financial transactions.

“Even if the facts stated in the complaint are accepted on face value, they do not constitute the offence alleged. Of course, there are allegations of corruption which have sprouted from certain suspicions and doubts entertained by the complainant. But allegations of such doubts and suspicions are not factual allegations constituting the offence,” the vigilance court had observed.

The Congress has been targeting the chief minister, his daughter, and the CPI(M) after reports the CMRL had paid a total of Rs 1.72 crore to the CM’s daughter between 2017 and 2020. The report cited the ruling of an interim board for settlement and said that CMRL previously had an agreement with Veena’s IT firm for consulting and software support services.
It was also alleged that though no service was rendered by her firm, the amount was paid on a monthly basis “due to her relationship with a prominent person.” 
(With PTI inputs)

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