THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan could face investigation under Prevention of Corruption Act, 1989, following the indictment of his daughter Veena T’s firm Exalogic Solutions Pvt Ltd for receiving Rs 1.7 crore from Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) without providing any services to CMRL. The opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala have reacted by demanding a judicial inquiry into the scam.

Holding Exalogic Solutions guilty, income tax department’s Interim Board for Settlement (IRB) said in an order “as per the contemporaneous evidence” gathered during I-T search of CMRL records, it was found that Veena’s firm had received the money without providing any services to CMRL. Veena is the sole director of Exalogic Solutions while CMRL is partly owned by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC). It is not clear what grounds and process CMRL applied for granting consultancy to Veena’s company. The payments were allegedly made between 2017 and 2020.
Without directly mentioning Pinarayi, the IRB’s order says: “The (I-T) department has demonstrated with clinching evidence …that the applicant (CMRL) has made payments through banking channels to persons connected with a prominent person and thereby claim it as a deductible expense and claiming to compensate a service which has not been rendered or received”.

According to the IRB report, documents seized from the residence of CMRL’s chief financial officer K S Sureshkumar, who worked with the company for 27 years, and his subsequent statement revealed that prominent politicians from Congress, Muslim League and CPM were “recipients of cash” running into crores. Quoting Sureshkumar, the report said these included, apart from Vijayan, late Congress leader Oommen Chandy, Muslim League leaders P K Kunhalikutty and Ibrahim Kunju and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala. The report said that Rs 55 lakh was transferred to the personal account of Veena in 2017-18 and 2019-20.
The report quoted Sureshkumar as saying that “these payments were being made to functionaries/members of various political parties, media houses, police etc. for smooth functioning of our (CMRL’s) business”. Over Rs 95 crore was disbursed as cash “under the guise of genuine business expenditure incurred by the company to fund temples, political parties and for general welfare of the society”.
Kerala PCC chief K Sudhakaran said: “This transaction has been made to the family of the CM and hence Vijayan has no moral authority to continue in office.” BJP leader and Union minister V Muraleedharan sought an independent inquiry into the report that a “monthly quota” was paid to the CM’s daughter.

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