Kerala

CPI(M) not averse to ED questioning Kerala CM’s additional secretary Raveendran

C.M. Raveendran,  

The CPI(M) is reportedly not averse to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioning C.M. Raveendran, additional private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

By some accounts, the CPI(M) State secretariat which met here on Friday felt Mr. Raveendran should appear before the ED without delay and any further procrastination was not optimal, politically and legally. There were also unconfirmed reports that the ED had identified some properties in Kannur allegedly linked to Mr. Raveendran.

The ED had summoned the political appointee to question him in connection with suspected "kickbacks in the various infrastructure contracts" being implemented by the State government.

Mr. Raveendran was scheduled to appear before the ED's office in Kochi on Friday. However, he was under treatment for post-COVID-19 complications and the doctors had reportedly prescribed rest and physiotherapy sessions.

Earlier, the ED had arrested Mr. Vijayan's former Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar as part of its probe into the money laundering aspect of the UAE gold smuggling case. Its summons to Mr. Raveendran have triggered intense speculation that the agency's investigation was getting close to the Chief Minister's Office.

The government and the CPI(M) have portrayed the ED’s move as a constitutional overreach. Mr Vijayan had stated the agency had no business seeking government records related to mega projects. The CPI(M) had said the ED was not a check and balances body like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. It had also accused the BJP government at the Centre of using the ED to target Mr. Vijayan.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 9:08:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/cpim-not-averse-to-ed-questioning-raveendran/article33196114.ece

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