The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday orally told the Kerala High Court that it would not insist on the appearance of senior CPI(M) leader Thomas Isaac, in connection with the probe into alleged violations by KIIFB, till September 2 when his plea against the agency’s summons is expected to be heard next.
Government lawyers connected with the case said that the ED sought more time to file its response to Isaac’s plea and the court, thereafter, listed the matter for hearing on September 2 along with a petition recently moved by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) opposing the agency’s probe.
The agency also told the court that it would not be insisting on the appearance of the senior CPI(M) leader and former state Finance Minister till then, the lawyers said.
Isaac, in his plea, has contended that the agency has no power to question him or ask for his personal information or details just because he was the former head of KIIFB and was its ex-officio member presently.
He has further contended that the ED was attempting to conduct a fishing and roving enquiry into the activities of KIIFB and such enquiries have been time and again deprecated by the apex court.
He has claimed that the summons issued to him do not reveal the nature of the violation, if any, by him of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) or as to what is the investigation in relation to which his response is sought.
Therefore, the ”summons are ex-facie illegal and beyond the jurisdiction of the scope of inquiry contemplated under the FEMA since admittedly there is no violation of any provision of the said Act”, Isaac has also claimed in his plea.
The ED had served a notice to the senior Marxist leader last month, seeking his appearance before it on July 19. He, however, did not appear before the probe agency, saying he had to attend classes at a party-run institute in the state capital.
Then, Isaac had termed the ED notice to him as a ‘political move’ by the BJP government at the Centre, alleging it was misusing all investigation agencies for its political gains.
The second notice seeking his appearance was sent by ED in the first week of August.