KIIFB case: HC permits ED to interrogate former minister Thomas Isaac

Thomas Isaac. File Photo: Manorama

Kochi: Former minister Thomas Isaac will face a probe into the alleged financial dealing of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) as the Kerala High Court here on Saturday granted permission to the Enforcement Directorate to continue its investigation. The court has allowed the central agency to issue fresh summons to the senior CPM leader for an interrogation into the case.

In an interim order dated November 24, the high court clarified that this decision is subject to further orders from the court and scheduled the matter for further consideration on December 1.

The court issued this order in response to a plea filed by Isaac, who sought the quashing of the two summons issued to him by the ED. These summons are part of the agency's probe into alleged violations in the financial dealings of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

"...the pendency of these writ petitions will not stand in the way of the ED issuing fresh summons to any person, including the petitioners, and to continue the investigation; however, subject to further orders from this court," Justice Devan Ramachandran said in the order, modifying the interim orders issued earlier.

Isaac, in the plea, had contended that the ED was attempting to conduct a fishing and roving enquiry into the activities of KIIFB and such inquiries have been time and again deprecated by the apex court.

He had also claimed that the summons issued to him to appear before the ED did not reveal the nature of the violation, if any, by him of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) or what is the investigation about which his response is sought.

The ED had served a notice to the senior former finance minister in July last year, seeking his appearance before it. He, however, did not appear before the probe agency, saying he had to attend classes at a party-run institute in the state capital.

Then, Isaac had termed the ED notice to him as a 'political move' by the BJP government at the Centre, alleging it was misusing all investigation agencies for its political gains.

(With PTI inputs)

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