Kerala HC relief for former FM Isaac from ED for two months

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Kerala HC relief for former FM Isaac from ED for two months
 

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday ordered that no further summons be issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to former state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and two officials of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for two months.

The court passed this order on petitions filed by Isaac and the KIIFB.

“Although the enquiry by the ED is not liable to be interdicted, there is no justification for petitioners to be repeatedly summoned by the officers of the ED,” it said.

The plea moved by the KIIFB challenged the repeated issuance of summons by the ED to KIIFB officers, including CEO K.M. Abraham, in connection with alleged violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) when it issued ‘Masala Bonds’.

The petition by Isaac challenged the summons issued by the ED seeking his personal documents as well as those of his family members in connection with the same probe.

Pointing out that the ED hasn’t mentioned what contravention of FEMA it is probing in the summonses, the petitioners contended that the probe is nothing but a fishing expedition.

Further they argued that the request for personal documents of the officers and their family members at this preliminary stage of investigation, is a violation of their right to privacy.

The KIIFB, in particular, argued that the probe is adversely affecting its ability to raise funds which are necessary for infrastructure projects in the state.

The ED said that the investigation is at a preliminary stage and that the issuance of summons is perfectly legitimate as per the FEMA Act.

It was also stated that the probe was initiated on the basis of complaints regarding FEMA violations in the issuance of masala bonds by the KIIFB.

 


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