Public Funding Raises Questions: High Court Criticizes KSIDC’s Response to SFIO Inquiry

Examining the Controversy Surrounding Exalogic and Transparency in Public Institutions

Kochi: The Kerala High Court criticized Kerala Industrial Development Corporation’s (KSIDC) opposition to a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena’s company Exalogic.

The court questioned why the state-funded KSIDC did not welcome the SFIO investigation, stating, “Isn’t KSIDC a publicly funded institution? KSIDC should have welcomed the SFIO inquiry.”

Legal Proceedings and Postponement

The remarks came while considering a petition filed by KSIDC against the investigation into its ties with Exalogic. KSIDC argued that it invests in 57 companies and demanded that the probe be quashed as unrelated.

However, the court countered it was illogical that KSIDC’s nominee would be unaware of CMRL transactions and that the truth must be discovered.

A hearing into the KSIDC’s plea has been postponed until next month. The court will also consider allowing Shaun George to join the petition.

Discussion on Investigation and Implications

Previously, the court asked if an investigation proving no crime occurred would benefit KSIDC. It told KSIDC to clarify its intentions behind opposing the probe. KSIDC argued the investigation into Exalogic cash transactions would hurt its reputation and credibility. However, the court asserted that CMRL dealings should be investigated appropriately regardless.

Center Position and Court Focus

Meanwhile, the centre claimed KSIDC was targeted as a subsidiary and public funds were involved, so the probe would reveal whether criminal activity occurred.

Kerala High Court must be convinced of KSIDC’s justifications for opposing the SFIO investigation. With the next hearing postponed, questions persist about KSIDC’s intentions and concerns about potential damage to its reputation. However, the court emphasized the public nature of KSIDC and the need for transparency regarding Exalogic’s financial dealings.

Only when the scope of the probe and its implications on KSIDC are fully established will the state agency face scrutiny over its reluctance to embrace the investigation. The High Court continues to push KSIDC to clarify its stance and alignment with the public interest. This comes as SFIO pursues answers on alleged “cash for favour” transactions involving Exalogic. The case represents growing pressure and demand for accountability at the highest levels of Kerala’s government and industry.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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