Kochi, March 23 The Customs department issued summons for the second time to interrogate former Kerala Communist Party Of India (Marxist) State Secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's wife Vinodhini Balakrishnan for using an iphone purchased by Unitac owner Santosh Eapen. The wife of the top CPI(M) leader again failed to appear before the Customs here on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Customs department had issued a notice to Vinodhini Balakrishnan on March 10 for which she failed to appear for questioning.
The Customs officials are taking this attitude of Vinodhini Balakrishnan seriously and are reportedly planning their next move.
The Customs officials had asked Vinodhini to appear before them in connection with the infamous missing iPhone, which was allegedly given by Santhosh Eapen, one of the beneficiaries of the controversial Life Mission flats project.
The Customs have traced the iPhone to Vinodhini, who was found to have allegedly used it till the infamous Kerala gold smuggling case surfaced in July 2020.
Eapen heads Unitac Builders that received the contract for the Life Mission flats project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur district.
In an affidavit filed before the High Court, Eapen is seeking the quashing of the FIR registered against him which had mentioned that Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, had asked him to buy five iPhones to be given to VIP guests invited to participate in the UAE National Day celebrations held here in December 2019.
Trouble began after rumours started that Leader of the Opposition and senior Congress leader, Ramesh Chennithala, was given one iPhone but he denied it and threatened legal action against those who were trying to malign him.
At that time, the owner of the most expensive iPhone could not be identified. But the Customs has now managed to locate its owner and it has been found that Vinodhini was using the iPhone worth Rs 1.13 lakh.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan was forced to step down as the CPI(M) State Secretary in 2020 after his younger son Bineesh Kodiyeri was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Bengaluru, following his close friend's arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). Even now he continues to be in jail there.
The CPI(M) leader's elder son Binoy Kodiyeri is also entangled in a case where a Bihar woman has approached the Mumbai High Court, saying that her child is the son of Binoy, who is already married and has a family.
Kodiyeri Balakrishnan last week told the media that whatever he has heard is only from media reports that his wife was served a notice to appear before the Customs adding that his wife has not been served any notice nor does she know Eapen.
( With inputs from IANS )
Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor