KL This Week: KIIFB Has Permission to Issue Masala Bonds, Says RBI Affidavit in High Court
Image: R Prakash
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) submitted in the Kerala High Court that the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) has been granted permission for issuing masala bonds. The RBI has also submitted that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is empowered to investigate issues pertaining to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
A meeting between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) has kicked up a storm in the state. The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has accused the fundamentalist groups of being hand in glove and acting against the secular credentials of the state.
The recent report of the State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) has found an increase in crimes against women and children. Also, 4,586 cases were filed under the Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences Bill (POCSO) in 2022, the highest in the last five years.
The Education Department and the LDF government have decided to protect the teachers affected by staff fixation in government and government-aided schools.
A tribal man from Kozhikode was found hanging in a government medical college campus, following allegations of theft on the hospital premises. There is suspicion surrounding the death as his shirt was found in a bush later.
The ED arrested former IAS officer of Kerala Shiva Shankar in the LIFE mission case after he was accused of not cooperating with the inquiry. NewsClick brings a round-up of the happenings this week.
SETBACK FOR ED?
After a prolonged delay, the RBI filed the affidavit in the Kerala High Court on the permission granted to KIIFB for issuing masala bonds. The RBI has granted a no objection certificate (NOC) in 2018 for issuing bonds from non-resident citizens.
The KIIFB has challenged the repeated summoning by the ED on the alleged FEMA violation. The affidavit also stated that the KIIFB has submitted monthly returns every month. This submission has been seen as a setback for the ED considering the political clout over the issue.
The former finance minister of Kerala, Thomas Isaac, had also moved the high court seeking the ED from issuing summons to him and his family members. Dr Isaac has been alleging that the ED has not clarified the nature of offences and KIIFB has alleged hindrances in mobilising funds for the infrastructure projects.
RSS-MUSLIM ORGANISATION MEET SPARKS CONTROVERSY
A meeting between the RSS and JEI has sparked heated debates among Muslim outfits and political parties. The two organisations are on opposites of the religious and political spectrum on lines.
The JeI has claimed that the meeting was to discuss the fear among the minorities due to the activities of the right-wing groups. Several Muslim outfits, including the SAMASTHA, Indian National League (INL), and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) have criticised the meeting and demanded disclosure of the details of the meeting.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the meeting and accused the two communal outfits of planning to destroy secularism and democracy.
VACANCIES IN GOVERNMENT/AIDED SCHOOLS
The school education department has announced the creation of 6,005 teaching and non-teaching positions in 2,313 government and aided schools in the state for the academic year 2022-23.
Of the 5,906 new teaching positions, 3,080 are allocated to 1,106 government schools and 2,925 in 1,207 aided schools. On the contrary, 4,563 posts created in 2019-20 have been axed due to reducing student strength. The vacancies will be filled through the public service commission.
The Education Department has announced plans to protect the teachers affected by the fixation by deploying the excess staff in the available vacancies.
SUSPICION OVER DEATH OF TRIBAL MAN
The death of Viswanathan, a 46-year-old tribal hailing from Wayanad district near the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, has roused suspicions. He was attacked by fellow bystanders in the hospital on suspicion of theft, where his wife was admitted for delivery.
Viswanathan was found hanging later while his shirt was found in a bush, raising doubts over the cause of death. The police have collected details of more than 450 people present during the incident as witnesses.
Rahul Gandhi, the Wayanad MP has written to the chief minister seeking ex-gratia compensation and a job for the family member of Viswanathan.
CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN ON THE RISE
The report of the SCRB has stunned many, as the number of crimes against women and children has registered a rise. 18,943 cases of crime against women and 5,315 cases of crime against children were registered in the year 2022.
The cases under POCSO have also seen a steep rise to 4,586 – the highest in the last five years. The number of cases came down only during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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