Representational image | Photo: ANI
Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has been probing the alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulations) Act in connection with the Kerala government's Life Mission project, on Thursday summoned a chartered accountant (CA), as part of the investigation.
The agency has started interrogating the CA, who has been associated with M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, ED sources said.
A special court here had on Wednesday sent Sivasankar to five-day ED custody in connection with alleged violation of the FCRA in the Life Mission project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur district of Kerala.
The CA had allegedly helped Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case, to open a bank locker to keep the commission received from the project.
The CBI had in 2020 filed an FIR in a Kochi court under Section 120 B of the IPC and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 on a complaint by the then Wadakancherry Congress MLA, Anil Akkara, listing Santosh Eappen, Managing Director of Unitac Builder, Kochi as the first accused and Sane Ventures as the second accused.
The two companies had undertaken the construction based on the agreement entered with them by Red Crescent, an international humanitarian movement, which had agreed to provide Rs 20 crore towards the Life Mission project.
Akkara and the Congress party have been alleging that there was corruption involved in the selection of the contractor by the Red Crescent.
The alleged FCRA violation and corruption in the project had snowballed into a major political issue at that time with opposition parties charging that Swapna Suresh had admitted before an NIA court that she had received Rs 1 crore as commission from the project.
She had reportedly claimed that the money was for Sivasankar.
However, the Life Mission CEO had submitted before the court that Unitac and Sane Ventures had undertaken the construction based on the agreement entered into with them by Red Crescent and had directly accepted foreign contributions from Red Crescent, which is a foreign agency.
The petition also said the companies which signed an agreement with the Red Crescent do not come under the categories of persons prohibited from receiving any foreign contribution as per Section 3 of the FCRA.