Karnataka High Court refuses to stop fraud probe into Kerala Chief Minister’s daughter’s firm

The Karnataka High Court has dismissed the plea filed by the IT firm owned by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter, which sought to quash the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) investigation into the alleged illegal transactions of the company.

The petition was filed by Exalogic Solutions, Veena Vijayan’s company headquartered in Bangalore, challenging the direction issued by the Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which asked the SFIO to investigate the affairs of the company. Justice M Nagaprasanna of the Karnataka High Court dismissed the petition.

Calling it a major setback to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his daughter, the opposition Congress and BJP in Kerala welcomed the court order against Exalogic Solutions.

There was no immediate response from the ruling CPI(M) on the matter.

Congress leaders claimed the firm had moved the court as the Chief Minister was “afraid” of the investigation. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said that the move “shows that his (CM’s) hands are not clean”.

The BJP also attacked the CPI(M) Chief Minister over the court verdict. Union Minister of State for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, stated that the High Court was not convinced by the arguments that the SFIO probe was politically motivated. Additionally, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar welcomed the verdict, allowing an investigation into ‘Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter’s company receiving mysterious payments without delivering any service’.

A controversy erupted in Kerala after a Malayalam daily, citing Income Tax findings, reported last year that CMRL had paid a total of Rs 1.72 crore to the chief minister’s daughter’s firm between 2017 and 2020.

Earlier this month, the Kerala High Court had also declined to stay the SFIO probe into state-run KSIDC, Exalogic, and the Kochi-based mining company CMRL.

Published On:

Feb 17, 2024

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