The Enforcement Directorate on Friday told the Kerala High Court that politics could not be a reason to interfere with the law, as it opposed the order of a single-judge bench not to summon former state minister Thomas Isaac till the Lok Sabha elections were over, Live Law reported.

On Tuesday, Justice TR Ravi said that it was inappropriate to compel Isaac to respond to the agency’s summons ahead of the elections and adjourned the matter to May 22. The Enforcement Directorate filed an appeal against the order before a division bench.

On Friday, a bench comprising Justices A Mohamed Mustaque and MA Abdul Hakhim noted that elections in Kerala are scheduled on April 26. “Both the parties [Enforcement Directorate and Isaac] are agreeable to hear the matter immediately after the elections,” the court said.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor-General ARL Sundaresan, representing the Enforcement Directorate, said that the agency was entitled to continue its investigation and the elections were not a reason to postpone it. He also said that the summons were issued long before the election dates were notified, according to Live Law.

Isaac, on the other hand, contended that the Enforcement Directorate investigation just ahead of the election would hamper his poll prospects, and that the agency issued the summons without a prima facie case.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader is contesting from the Pathanamthitta constituency in the state.

The case

In 2019, the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board had raised Rs 2,150 crore through its debut masala bond issue as part of its plan to mobilise Rs 50,000 crore to fund projects, The Indian Express reported.

Masala bonds are bonds that are issued outside India but are denominated in Indian rupees. They allow Indian companies to raise capital from foreign investors in Indian currency, and are usually used to fund infrastructure projects.

The Enforcement Directorate had initiated an investigation into whether the Foreign Exchange Management Act was violated in issuing the masala bonds in 2019. Issac was then the Kerala finance minister.