Ex-Kerala minister Thomas Isaac refuses to appear before ED in masala bonds case

Isaac informed the court that he would appear before the ED only if the summons clearly mentioned the allegations against him.
File Photo of Thomas Isaac
File Photo of Thomas Isaac
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Veteran CPI(M) leader and former Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate in the Kerala High Court in the 'masala bonds' case on Monday, February 19, citing that the summons did not clearly mention the allegations against him. He has informed the court that he would be appearing only if the summons set out the allegations against him clearly. However, Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has agreed to appear before the court in the same case.

On Monday, the Court pointed out that they will ensure that there will be no arrest nor will any one be put under duress. Isaac’s counsel said that there was no need for him to appear. However, ED in its response said that Isaac is the main person who knows everything about the masala bond case and that is why he must appear before the court.

A ‘masala bond’ refers to a rupee-denominated bond issued to foreign investors and is settled in US dollars and is subject to the financial regulations of the respective jurisdiction. The first ‘Masala bond’ was issued by the World Bank-backed International Finance Corporation in November 2014 when it raised Rs 1,000 crore to fund long-term infrastructure projects in India.

The ED informed the court that he will not be arrested and the entire questioning will be filmed and will be brought to the court.

Meanwhile, the counsel of KIIFB has informed the court that the CEO will not be able to appear but another top official will appear before ED on the 27th and 28th of this month. The ED has agreed to the KIIFB appeal.

The court then issued the orders to Isaac asking him to appear before the court on March 8. Isaac has so far been served five notices to appear before the ED but has not turned up.

(With IANS inputs)

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