Thiruvananthapuram: The confrontation between Kerala’s ruling front and the central agencies probing various scams in the state took another ugly turn when the CPI-M approached the advocate general seeking permission to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar for releasing the secret deposition of gold and dollar smuggling kingpin Swapna Suresh.
It was based on the woman’s deposition that the Customs filed a report before the high court referring to the alleged direct involvement of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Speaker Sreeramakrishnan in the dollar smuggling scam.
The Customs Commissioner further provoked the ruling front by putting up a facebook post saying that the agency won’t be cowed down by the ways of intimidation resorted to by ‘political parties. His reference was to the protest marches taken out by the CPI-M workers to various Customs offices in the state following the agency’s affidavit to the high court.
The CPI-M complaint is that the details of the secret deposition can only be provided to the investigating officer and can be used only for the purpose of investigating the case, but the commissioner, who is not the investigating officer in the case, used the deposition in his submission to the court.
The party further alleges that the commissioner’s act amounts to interfering in the court procedures and as such lowers the dignity of the court. The advocate general has sent a notice to the Customs Commissioner, seeking his response.
Meanwhile, another lady police official from the team providing security to Swapna Suresh has claimed that she overheard the Enforcement Directorate officials promising the accused that she would be made an approver if she named Pinarayi Vijayan in connection with the scam.
She further claimed that the ED officials asked Swapna to say that the money found in her locker belonged to M Sivasanakr and that the money had been given to him by the chief minister.
On Monday, a leaked statement from another lady security official had made a similar claim. The statements of the police officials were being recorded by the crime branch team investigating into the alleged threat to the life of Swpna Suresh while in custody.
The crime branch investigation is widely seen as an attempt by the LDF government to checkmate the central agencies and thwart their investigations on one pretext or the other.
Even as the two sides braced for more slugfest, opposition UDF and Congress have alleged a secret understanding between CPI-M and RSS under which the investigations into the scams have been put in a limbo.
They dared the chief minister to answer the questions posed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the launch of BJP’s election campaign, instead of putting a set of counter questions to the BJP leader.
They even alleged that the speeches of both Amit Shah and Pinarayi Vijayan had been prepared in tandem and were meant to hoodwink public and camouflage their secret understanding in furtherance of their joint agenda of seeing a Congress-free Kerala.