Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayai Vijayan has rejected allegations against his daughter Veena and her firm Exalogic Solutions of allegedly receiving “illegal payment” from Cochin Minerals and Rutile Limited (CMRL) and said these were legal business deals.
Responding to allegations raised by UDF MLA Mathew Kuzhalnadan in the state assembly on Monday, Vijayan said all norms had been followed.
“Exalogic had done business with several companies and CMRL was one of them. Exalogic received remuneration as part of a legal agreement with CMRL. There is a deduction of income tax at source and payment of GST. It is understood that this has been disclosed in the income tax return of Exalogic Company,” the Kerala CM said.
Referring to the report of the Income Tax Interim Settlement Board, Pinarayi said it is primary responsibility to hear the side of the other person.
“The primary responsibility to hear the side of another person in an affidavit against another person as part of an investigation rests with the judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative authorities charged with the administration of natural justice. It didn’t happen here,” Pinarayi said.
“According to the fundamental principles of the law of evidence, observations made without hearing the other party cannot be assigned any judicial value,” he added.
He asked whether there is any law or regulation that prevents a woman entrepreneur from entering into a contract or doing business just because she is related to a politician.
“Can it be said in the income tax department’s report or interim settlement order that a public servant in power has done any wrongful favour or defaulted in a legally binding obligation to the contracting companies?” he asked.
Vijayan alleged that the ruling party at the Centre has been seeking to victimise leaders of opposition parties as part of political vengeance.
“We have strongly supported your and other opposition’s allegation that the ruling party at the Centre is hounding opposition political leaders in cases. We have tried not to justify the court order disqualifying Rahul Gandhi by giving sanctity to the judicial order, but to expose the political moves against him,” the Chief Minister said.
“Even when it is said that it is a quasi-judicial order of a board with the powers of a civil court, it must be remembered that the order is written by three officers under the Central Government,” he said.
Last month, a report of the Income Tax Department’s Interim Board for Settlement regarding a settlement application said that Veena’s company had allegedly received “illegal payment” to the tune of Rs 1.72 crore from CMRL.
The report alleged that Exalogic “has not provided” any service to the CMRL as per the evidence gathered during the search and payments do not qualify “as business expenditure”. (ANI)