CMRL officials allege illegal detention by ED, move HC

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Three officials of Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd (CMRL), the company which is being probed by a few central agencies, including the Directorate of Enforcement (ED), on charges of money laundering, have moved the Kerala High Court against what they termed as their illegal detention by ED officials.

The company was being probed for the payments made to Exalogic Solutions Private Limited, a firm owned by T. Veena, daughter of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

N.C. Chandrasekharan, Anju Rachael Kuruvila and K.S. Suresh Kumar moved the court through the Chief General Manager of the company against their alleged illegal detention. The officials, according to the petition, were summoned by the ED in connection with the company’ s financial transaction with Exalogic Solutions.

During the hearing of their petition challenging the ED’s summons to them, the agency had undertaken before the court not to take coercive steps against them. The court had also recorded the submission and scheduled the case for April 22. However, the petitioners said they were illegally detained by ED officials overnight and for nearly 24 hours. The officials complained that they were also coerced into sharing the information and password of the company’s confidential documents.

The officials complained that they continued to be in illegal custody at the time of the execution of the affidavit in connection with the petition before the High Court. They also contended that the entire investigation was without any jurisdiction as there was no scheduled offence of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act involved.

Meanwhile, Sasidharan Kartha, Managing Director of CMRL, informed ED officials his inability to appear before them for interrogation due to his advanced age and serious medical conditions. Mr. Kartha had given the earlier summons a miss.

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