T Veena and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. (Image: PTI/File photo)
A complaint on Monday was filed with the Director of Vigilance demanding an investigation into the controversies surrounding Kochi-based Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL). Girish Babu, a native of Kalamassery, has lodged a complaint demanding an investigation against few political leaders including Veena — daughter of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan — who is accused of taking money from CMRL.
The complaint has now been filed along with the order issued by the Settlement Board of the Revenue Justice Department in the tax dispute related to CMRL and the Income Tax Department. The complaint was filed seeking an investigation under the Prevention of Corruption Act against few political leaders as well as Veena. A copy of the complaint has also been given to the CBI, Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Secretary and the DGP.
An inquiry has also been requested against the political leaders mentioned in the diary seized by the Revenue Justice Department from CMRL. Babu also stated that if the vigilance director does not take further action, he will approach the court.
Republic spoke to Girish Babu who stated that this is a serious finding of the Income Tax that reeks of corruption. "The Vigilance will have 15 days to take action based on the complaint," he said. The activist also mentioned that he will approach the court if the case is not filed by law enforcement in this regard. "I will certainly approach the court for relief as the names given in the findings are powerful people," he stated.
The complaint has been filed against Veena as well as the Kerala Chief Minister. Along with them, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, IUML leader Kunjali Kutty ad VK Ibrahim Kunju and MD of CMRL as well as its CFO and Finance Secretary have been listed as accused. The complainant has demanded scrutiny and action from the vigilance in this regard.
The CPM press meeting on Monday got chaotic as the State Secretary, MV Govindan, flatly refused to respond to inquiries regarding the monthly income of the Chief Minister's daughter from a mining company. The State Secretary walked out of the press conference that he had called, the moment media began asking questions in connection with the IT department's findings.
The party had earlier come to defend Veena stating that all the money transferred was part of a legitimate contract. Since the issue came to light a week ago, Chief Minister's daughter also has chosen not to respond.
Veteran Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala admitted that he had received money from CMRL. While speaking to the media last Thursday, Chennithala said, "During my tenure as KPCC President and Leader of Opposition, the money was bought in the form of party funds. It is duly recorded in the party accounts. I do not remember how much money was bought."
Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader Kunhalikutty too didn't deny the findings of the IT report. During a media meeting in Thiruvananthapuram, he stated that he didn't 'receive cash in hand' from CMRL. Kunhalikutty also claimed that no one in the world holds a party with more purity than him. "If the party had accepted the donation, it must have maintained its receipt and payment account," stated the IUML leader while responding to queries about whether any favours in terms of environmental clearance were given in exchange for the money received.
The leader said, " Don't even know if it's a donation or not. All this happened a long time ago. If the donation has been received, the party must have given a receipt and accounted for it. That's all to say. There is nothing else to it," he concluded.
Veena allegedly received Rs 1.72 crore from a private company for services allegedly not provided. Veena is allegedly linked to a company -- Exalogic Solutions Pvt Ltd -- which is based out of Bengaluru. As per sources, an investigation by Income Tax sleuths has allegedly revealed that Veena and her company received Rs 1.72 crore in monthly installments over the last three years for services they did not provide. The money was allegedly received from CMRL. CMRL is reported to be a firm that deals with creating synthetic rutile by mining black sand from Kerala.