CPI-M cries foul as Veena Vijayan’s firm served notice to appear before SFIO

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 10 – With the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe reaching Exalogic, the IT firm owned by Kerala Chief Minister’s daughter Veena Vijayan, the CPI-M on Saturday alleged political witch hunting by the Centre.

Exalogic has approached the Karnataka High Court with a plea to quash the SFIO probe and the court will take up the plea on Monday.

On Saturday the CPI-M claimed that the Centre was targeting Pinarayi Vijayan as the Lok Sabha polls were round the corner.

The CPI-M has come out with a circular which will now be sent out to its grassroot cadres alleging that Vijayan was being targeted through Veena for political reasons.

Exalogic has just one Director, Veena Vijayan and the Bengaluru-based firm has now moved court to keep its dormant status.

Trouble had been brewing for Veena for a while ever since the SFIO, acting on the findings of the preliminary probe by the Registrar of Companies (ROC) first reached the office of the Cochin-based mining firm-CMRL, which had given a contract to Exalogic.

Then the scope of the probe was extended to the state capital-headquartered Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) that has around 13 per cent stake in CMRL.

On Friday, Exalogic was also served a notice and since Veena is the sole Director, she will now have to appear before the SFIO.

Hence the CPI-M has come out strongly stating that all the dealings between Exalogic and CMRL took place through the bank and there was nothing untoward in it and the central agencies were now being used as a tool to target Vijayan.

The CPI-M said that there has been no complaint from CMRL and the agencies were haunting Veena, just to target Vijayan.

Prior to the ROC investigation, this issue was raised by Congress MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan on the basis of a media report, which first surfaced last year.

The report had quoted an Income Tax official as saying that Exalogic had received Rs 1.72 crore from CMRL.

Though Vijayan maintained a stoic silence for a few months, he broke his silence on the floor of the Assembly last week.

“It was her mother who gave her retirement benefits to Veena to start an IT firm. My hands are clean,” said Vijayan.

Exalogic has approached the Karnataka High Court with a plea to quash the SFIO probe and now all eyes are on Monday, when the court will take up the plea.

One reason why Exalogic decided to approach the Karnataka High Court is that a few days ago the Kerala High Court came down heavily on the KSIDC and asked why should a state enterprise be worried about a probe?

“What do you want to hide,” the court asked, as it refused to quash the ongoing probe.

sg/rad

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