ED issues fresh summons to former Kerala minister in KIIFB masala bonds case

The ED has issued a fresh summons to senior Kerala CPI(M) leader Thomas Issac for questioning in a FEMA case linked to a probe into the alleged violations in the financial dealings of KIIFB during his tenure as the finance minister in the previous LDF government, official sources said Friday.
Senior Kerala CPI(M) leader Thomas Issac
Senior Kerala CPI(M) leader Thomas Issac

Kochi | The ED has issued a fresh summons to senior Kerala CPI(M) leader Thomas Issac for questioning in a FEMA case linked to a probe into the alleged violations in the financial dealings of KIIFB during his tenure as the finance minister in the previous LDF government, official sources said Friday.

The 71-year-old politician has now been asked to depose at the agency office in Kochi on January 22, they said. He was earlier called on January 12 but he did not turn up.

The central agency in December had informed the Kerala High Court that it had withdrawn the summons issued to Isaac.

The submissions were made during the 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.

In view of the agency withdrawing the summons, the HC disposed of the petitions but at the same time, the court also said that the ED was free to continue with its investigation into the matter.

ED sources said the fresh summons to Thomas was issued in light of the HC allowing the agency to go ahead with the investigation, under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), into the end use of Rs 2,000 crore raised by KIIFB through masala bonds and it's compliance with the FEMA norms.

KIIFB (Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board) is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects and raised Rs 2,150 crore in 2019 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.

The ED suspects contravention of the FEMA here and hence initiated a probe.

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