Former Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the ED has sought from him details in the last 10 years regarding his bank accounts, assets, foreign remittances, the companies he is a director in, etc.

Former Minister Thomas Isaac wearing a green striped shirt and talking, sitting with a laptop on his deskFile Photo
news Politics Thursday, August 04, 2022 - 14:09

Senior CPI(M) leader and former Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac lashed out at the Enforcement Directorate, saying that the notice to him seeking his appearance in connection with the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) probe counts as “harassment”. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued a second summons to Issac in connection with the probe into alleged violations in the financial dealings of KIIFB when he was Finance Minister in the previous LDF government in Kerala, and has asked Isaac to appear before it on August 11.

The former Kerala Finance Minister said the ED has sought from him details in the last 10 years regarding his bank accounts, assets, foreign remittances, the companies he is a director in, etc. He said that while he would reply to the notice in a day or two, after discussions with his lawyers, whether or not to appear before the ED would be decided later after exploring the possibilities of challenging the agency's notice.

"This is a clear-cut case of harassment. I have no idea as to what their objective is, but it is harassment. Further course of action, including whether to challenge the notice and whether to appear before the ED would be decided after discussions with legal experts and lawyers," he said while speaking to reporters. “In any case, it will take time to collate the details for 10 years that the ED has sought,” he added.

He also said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) never said there was any Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violation by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

"They think I will be scared by such actions. Others might have been in their (ED) experience," Isaac said.

Earlier, the ED had served him a notice last month, seeking his appearance before it on July 19. 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-led Union government, alleging it was misusing all investigation agencies for its political gains.

He had said before the last Assembly election, the ED, the CAG and even the Income Tax Department were after the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board.

"Then what happened? KIIFB is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects and had last year raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue as part of its plan to mobilise Rs 50,000 crore to fund large and critical infrastructure projects in the southern state," Isaac had written on his Facebook page reacting to the first ED notice. He had also detailed the positive impact of KIIFB in the state.

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