Thiruvananthapuram: After the Enforcement Directorate (EC), the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Customs Department may also question Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel in the gold smuggling case.
But before that, the two central agencies will examine the statement given by the minister to the ED as part of investigations into whether there was any gold smuggling activity under the guise of distribution of religious texts.
The ED will record Jaleel's statement again. The agency had asked the minister to appear before it on September 14. But he informed the inquiry team on Thursday night that he would arrive before them on Friday morning.
The ED prepares its questionnaire for interrogation in advance. However, the agency had not completed preparing the questionnaire when the minister appeared before it. Also, he was unable to provide most of the information the agency sought. The ED, therefore, will question the minister again after it prepares the questionnaire.
First minister to be questioned by ED
Thiruvananthapuram: KT Jaleel is the first minister in Kerala to be questioned by a central agency in connection with an alleged financial crime. The higher education minister was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate on Friday.
The CBI had questioned Pinarayi Vijayan, G Karthikeyan and S Sharma in the Lavalin case. But none of them was a minister at that time. The CBI had named Pinarayi Vijayan, who was the power minister when the power agreement with Canadian company Lavalin was signed, as the ninth accused in the case. On September 20, the Supreme Court will consider the CBI's appeal against the trial court’s verdict clearing Pinarayi Vijayan in the case.
Caesar's wife should be above suspicion: Sudhakaran
Alappuzha: Caesar's wife should be above suspicion, Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran has said. He used the previously discussed quote in Kerala politics while accepting the Thanneermukkam Grama Panchayat’s honour for being the best minister. His remark comes amid allegations being levelled against Minister KT Jaleel.
The quote is attributed to Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who said ‘my wife should be above suspicion’ while leaving his second wife Pompey.
It was used by High Court Judge B Kemal Pasha in the bar bribery case involving the former minister late KM Mani.
CPM behind Jaleel
New Delhi / Thiruvananthapuram: The CPM in the state and the Centre is standing firmly behind minister K T Jaleel. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Enforcement Directorate's questioning of Jaleel was only an action as per law. If convicted, he should be punished, Yechury said, adding the allegations against the minister were only a campaigning tool of the Opposition ahead of the Assembly elections.
Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that the ED calling Jaleel to ask him a few things was not such a big issue. Ministers have been questioned before, too, he said. Surendran said protesters against the government were responsible for the community spread of COVID in the capital.
Minister MM Mani said he did not think Jaleel had done anything wrong.