HC refuses to grant interim stay on probe by ED into financial transactions of KIIFB
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday refused to grant an interim stay on the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the financial transactions of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).
KIIFB appraised the court that permission for the issuance of the masala bonds were obtained from the RBI.
''Because prima facie the 1st Respondent (ED) does not have jurisdiction to enquire into the issuance of Masala Bonds by KIIFB as the same has been done pursuant to the permission from RBI, which is the regulator under FEMA,'' the plea by the KIIFB has said.
However, the court refused to stay the probe and posted the matter for further hearing on September 2.
Earlier, CPI(M) MLAs K K Shailaja, I B Sathish and actor M Mukesh, CPI MLA E Chandrasekharan and Congress (Secular) MLA Kadannappalli Ramachandran had moved a joint plea in the high court against the ED probe alleging that the same was a ''fishing and roving'' exercise aimed at discrediting the KIIFB.
They had also claimed that the actions of the ED will adversely affect or bring to a halt over 900 development projects, worth around Rs 73,000 crore, in the state.
The probe agency had earlier issued multiple notices summoning former state Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac to appear before it. Isaac had also moved the High Court against the ED. During the hearing of Isaac's plea, the high court asked why ED cannot question someone if it has any doubts and at the same time it told the probe agency that the privacy of an individual cannot be violated. KIIFB is the primary agency of the state government for financing large and critical infrastructure projects and had last year raised Rs 2,150 crore 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.
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