Thiruvananthapuram: M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was on Wednesday finally out of jail on bail after the special economic offences court in Kochi granted him bail in the third case of dollar smuggling in which he is one of the main accused.
He had earlier secured bail in the gold smuggling case as well as the havala operations case, but had to continue in jail as his bail plea in the third case was pending.
Sivasankar has been granted bail on the same conditions that he was released in the two other cases. He has to report to the investigating officer every Monday. The bail is given on the personal guarantee of two people as well as Rs 2 lakh as security.
The crux of Sivasankar’s argument was that the investigators have not succeeded to provide any evidence of his involvement other than the deposition made by two co-accused, namely, Swapna Suresh and Sarith.
He was first arrested in connection with the havala transaction case on October 23, and was then named in the gold smuggling case in November and the dollar smuggling case in January this year. He got bail in the gold smuggling case as the investigators failed to submit the charge-sheet within the prescribed time while the high court granted him bail in the havala case on the ground that the investigators could not establish that he had earned black money.
Curiously, the Customs did not press for the rejection of his bail plea on Wednesday, giving rise to allegations that there has been some deal between the BJP and the CPI-M in the sensational cases.
Similar allegations had been levelled in connection with the Lavalin case in the Supreme Court involving the chief minister, which has been postponed 20 times consecutively, most of the time on behest of the CBI which had challenged the release of Pinarayi Vijayan from the case without trial.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, who is on a Kerala tour, told newspersons that Sivasankar’s release is the latest instance of the adjustment politics between CPI-M and VJP. He had on Tuesday predicted that the former principal secretary would get bail in the dollar smuggling case.