5 LDF MLAs Move PIL Against ED Probe Into KIIFB, Kerala HC Likely To Hear It Today
The Kerala High Court is likely to hear on today the PIL moved by five LDF MLAs against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into alleged violations in the financial dealings of KIIFB.
The plea is listed for hearing before a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly.
CPI(M) MLAs K K Shailaja, I B Sathish and actor M Mukesh, CPI MLA E Chandrasekharan and Congress (Secular) MLA Kadannappalli Ramachandran have moved a joint plea in the high court against the ED probe.
Advocate V M Krishnakumar, who is representing the MLAs in the matter, confirmed filing of the case on Wednesday and that it was listed for hearing during the day.
In the plea, the MLAs have alleged that the ED was carrying out a fishing and roving exercise to discredit the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and as a result scare away its various investors.
They have contended that the only financial transaction under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) which KIIFB carried out was the issuance of 'masala bonds' and the same was done with the permission of RBI which is the regulator.
If the RBI, as the regulator, has no complaints about any FEMA violation, how can an outside agency carry out an investigation regarding the same, is the question raised by them in their plea.
Similar contentions were also made by former state Finance Minister and senior CPI(M) leader T M Thomas Isaac in a separate plea challenging the ED summons issued to him to appear before it in connection with the agency's probe into KIIFB.
His plea, which is listed for hearing before a different bench of the high court during the day, also contended that the ED was attempting to conduct a fishing and roving enquiry into the activities of KIIFB and such enquiries have been time and again deprecated by the apex court.
He has contended that the summons issued to him should be recalled or withdrawn.
The MLAs, in their plea, have claimed that the actions of ED will adversely affect or bring to a halt over 900 development projects, worth around Rs 73,000 crore, in the state.
They have said that any differences between the Centre and the state should be resolved through a dispute resolution mechanism and not by using ED as KIIFB is a state-run entity.
With PTI Inputs