ED tells Kerala High Court it has withdrawn summons issued to former Kerala minister Thomas Isaac

The agency also told the court that it has also withdrawn the summons issued to the officials of KIIFB in connection with the ED probe.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 15, 2023 | 2:35 PMUpdatedDec 15, 2023 | 2:35 PM

Former Kerala finance minister Thomas Isaac. (South First)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Kerala High Court that it had withdrawn the summons issued to senior CPI(M) leader TM Thomas Isaac as part of the agency’s probe into the alleged violations in the financial dealings of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) during his tenure as the state’s Finance Minister in the previous LDF government.

The agency also told the court that it has also withdrawn the summons issued to the officials of KIIFB in connection with the ED probe.

The submissions were made during the 14 December hearing of a plea by Isaac and a KIIFB official alleging that only personal information was sought through the summons by ED and seeking quashing of the same.

Related: ‘ED tarnishing KIIFB credibility’

Petitions disposed

In view of the agency withdrawing the summons, Justice Devan Ramachandran disposed of the petitions. At the same time, the court also said that the ED was free to continue with its investigation into the matter.

Following the high court order, Isaac, in a Facebook post, said he was only opposed to a fishing and roving enquiry by the agency into the activities of KIIFB without any evidence.

Isaac said that even the high court agreed with his arguments.

He further said that while the ED could continue with its probe if he were to be summoned, there had to be some proof or else he would move the court again.

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The plea by Isaac

Isaac, in the plea, had 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 Marxist leader 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.

“Why am I asked to appear before the ED? What offence did I commit? If they can’t inform me of such details, my prayer is to nullify the summons before the ED,” Isaac told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on 11 August last year.

“It is said that the case is related to FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act). Did I or the KIFFB violate the law? If that is their argument, that should be first pointed out to the RBI as it was the RBI that gave NOC and registration number for masala bonds,” he added.

The petition by Isaac also said the pattern in which the summons was issued by the ED to the officials of KIIFB and the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd (KSITIL) and giving of publicity to it through the media give rise to the “irresistible apprehension” that the move was part of an “organised smear campaign”.

The petition further stated that these proceedings were enacted by “vested political interests” to discredit the Kerala government’s machinery.

(With PTI inputs)