Kerala chief minister’s additional private secretary C M Raveendran, who was required to appear before Enforcement Directorate in connection with the gold smuggling case, got himself admitted to a hospital for what he claimed as post-Covid treatment.
On the previous occasion, when he was summoned for deposition, he told ED he was down with Covid. He was served a second notice by ED following his reported discharge from hospital and a further period of observation.
Raveendran is doing exactly what M Sivasankar, the CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary, had done when the agency had tried to arrest him. The suspended bureaucrat complained of sudden illness when he was being escorted to the ED office in Kochi and asked that he be admitted to a private hospital in the state capital, where, it turned out that his wife works as a doctor.
When medical tests on him showed that he had no heart problems, as he had complained, Sivasankar claimed that he had a serious back pain problem – it was found he had routine back issues. But the wily Sivasankar got himself admitted to an Ayurvedic hospital, although he was arrested from there.
Swapna Suresh, the prime suspect in the gold smuggling, revealed other senior functionaries in the CM’s office also had knowledge about the smuggling operation. Raveendran is known to be the key link between the CM and Sivasankar. Meanwhile, Customs was allowed custody of Sivasankar for 5 days for his further interrogation after he was included as an accused in the case.