Oppn demands court-monitored ED, CBI probe into IT company owned by Kerala CM's daughter

Registrar of Companies has highlighted major violations and fraud by Exalogic, owned by Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena T, in its transactions with CMRL.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter Veena T.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter Veena T.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Lok Sabha election round the corner, the findings in an inquiry report by the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Bengaluru, against Exalogic Solutions, the company owned by Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena T, has put the CPM and the chief minister in a fix.

Targeting Pinarayi, the Congress on Thursday demanded investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI under the court supervision, into the RoC’s findings. The CPM defended Veena, saying all sufficient documents had been submitted before the RoC.

In its report, the RoC has highlighted major violations and fraud by Exalogic in its transactions with CMRL.

It said the company filed for declaration of dormancy status in November 2022 in a fraudulent and misleading manner. The report further pointed at a lapse, wherein Veena received payments to the tune of `55 lakh from CMRL in individual capacity. Violations of various sections of the Companies Act 2013 and Companies (Accounts) Rules 2014 were detected, it stated. The RoC report recommended an ED probe into any violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and a CBI investigation for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Highlighting the findings, Leader of Opposition V D Satheeshan and state Congress president K Sudhakaran alleged a nexus between the CPM and BJP to protect Pinarayi. Satheeshan accused the CM of misleading the assembly by hiding the truth about the financial dealings between Exalogic and Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL). 

Satheesan alleges understanding between CM and Sangh Parivar

“The RoC report proves this. The Opposition has consistently alleged that Rs 1.72 crore was transferred into the account of Veena and her company without the firm providing any service. This has been proven. Veena and her firm are accused of committing crimes under the PMLA and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Although the RoC sought CBI and ED probe, the Centre has entrusted the Ministry of Corporate Affairs with the inquiry. This is part of an understanding between Pinarayi and the Sangh parivar,” he alleged.

He said no investigation was conducted in Lavalin case, LIFE Mission bribery case, gold smuggling and the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank scam. “We suspect there was a deal between the CPM and Sangh Parivar in the issues. So we want a court-supervised inquiry into the RoC findings. Soon after the report came out, Pinarayi cancelled his scheduled visit to Kolkata to attend the Jyoti Basu commemoration, and went to Kochi to receive the prime minister,” he alleged.

Sudhakaran said the PM Narendra Modi’s soft corner towards Pinarayi was very much evident from his body language. “The PM was very critical of the Congress. It is due to the RoC report against CM’s daughter that Pinarayi attended the function. RoC has even removed the inquiry report against Exalogic from its website. The CM, who is preparing to stage a protest in New Delhi against the Centre, did not raise any of the issues concerning Kerala with the PM,” he alleged.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter Veena T.
Probe ordered into alleged irregularities by Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter's firm: Centre to Kerala HC

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan refuted Congress’ charges, saying Modi is not someone who takes bribe from Pinarayi. He also justified the CM receiving the PM. “It is natural for the CM to receive the PM when the latter visits the state. The ROC report has proved that Veena has received bribes. The industries department cannot wash its hands off the dealings by CMRL, in which KSIDC has major shares. I would like to know whether the UDF will move a notice for breach of privilege against the CM for misleading the assembly,” he asked.

The CPM leadership strongly defended Veena and her firm. Party central committee member A K Balan dismissed the charges of illegal transactions. “All necessary documents have been submitted before RoC. Let there be an inquiry about the services provided by Exalogic to CMRL. The firm will cooperate with such probe,” he said.

“Let the central agencies first decide the form of inquiry needed. The Vigilance Court has already found there was no corruption in the issue,” he said.

Findings by registrar of companies

  • Major violations and fraudulent activities by Exalogic in its transactions with CMRL. The firm filed for declaration of dormancy status in November 2022, in a fraudulent and misleading manner. The company ought not to have filed for dormancy since as per section 455 of the Companies Act, a firm filing for dormancy status need not conduct any business in the preceding two years

  • The report summarised violations of section 129, 118, 137, 179 and 143 of the Companies Act 2013. Also, violation of section 134 of Companies (Accounts) Rules 2014 and Rule 16 of Companies (Acceptance of deposits) Rules 2014 were identified

  • Veena T received payments to the tune of I55 lakh from CMRL in her individual capacity. Veena was mum on a question from the ROC on receiving the funds

  • The reply by the company was evasive. There’s no agreement in individual capacity between Veena and CMRL. The agreement is between Exalogic and CMRL

  • “It would be difficult to distinguish then as to who between Exalogic Solutions Private Limited and Veena Thayikkandiyil in her individual capacity has rendered software services to CMRL and to what extent. The documentation provided by the company to the IO is grossly insufficient to conclude this (sic),” says RoC

  • The RoC report recommended that the violations should be investigated by the ED for violation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act and CBI for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act

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