Monthly payoff scam: CMRL refuses to give ED documents signed with Veena's firm

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T Veena. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: The Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL), the firm which is facing money laundering charges over paying Rs 1.72 crore to Exalogic Solutions owned by Chief Minister's daughter took a surprising move against the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Wednesday. Manorama News reported that CMRL refused to produce its documents signed with Exalogic Solutions before the central agency. 

In its explanation to ED, CMRL argued that the documents related to the financial deal should be kept confidential as it is a part of the Income Tax Department's settlement procedures. The settlement commission has already completed its formalities. So no other agency is entitled to access the relevant documents, it added. CMRL also quoted section 245(G) and 245(I) of the Income Tax Act to corroborate their argument.

It was in March 2017, that CMRL appointed Veena as its IT and Marketing Consultant. During this period, CMRL signed an agreement with Exalogic Solutions under Software Development Maintenance. As per the contract, a monthly payment of Rs 5 lakh should be given to Veena and Rs 3 lakh to Exalogic Solutions. The Kochi-based company had given Rs 1.72 crore to the IT firm from 2016 to 2018. 

The ED has asked CMRL officials to produce documents including Veena's appointment order, invoice and account ledger as part of the probe. Though the company staff who appeared for the interrogation produced a few documents, they intentionally buried crucial documents related to the monthly-pay off scam.

Rejecting CMRL's argument, ED has asked the company to produce these documents immediately. ED officials reached CMRL Managing Director Sasidharan Kartha's residence in Aluva on Wednesday for interrogating him in the case.

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