The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered an Enforcement Case Investigation Report (ECIR) in connection with the alleged monthly pay-off controversy involving the company of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter T. Veena.

The ECIR has been registered by the Kochi unit of the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

The Central agency has acted on the basis of the report by the Income Tax Interim Settlement Board in August 2023 stating that Ms. Veena and her IT company, Exalogic Solutions Private Ltd., had received ₹1.72 crore as monthly payments from Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL) despite there being no evidence of any services given in return.

The probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs into the monthly pay-off case is progressing. It is learnt that the ED probe will include the individuals and entities on the record of the Income Tax Interim Settlement Board order.

Scope of probe

Besides Ms. Veena, the role of CMRL and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, which holds 13.4% shares in the Kochi-based company, will also be investigated.

The High Court of Karnataka had in February rejected a petition filed by Exalogic Solutions Private Limited questioning the action of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs ordering a probe by the SFIO into the affairs of the company.

The Ministry had told the court that illegal payments made to the extent of ₹135 crore by CMRL to various political functionaries in Kerala and certain other entities, including Exalogic, had necessitated the investigation.