M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary of chief minister, who increasingly appears to be the mastermind behind the gold smuggling through diplomatic channels and other scams, was denied bail by the court for economic offences in Kochi.
The court also made damning observations about the role of Sivasankar in the clandestine operations and recorded that the senior bureaucrat was not cooperating with the investigations and that if he is granted bail, it would lead to tampering with evidence, considering the influence he wielded in the state administration.
The court ruled that there is prima facie evidence of Sivasankar’s involvement in the gold smuggling and cited depositions by co-accused to the effect that higher-ups were involved.
The senior bureaucrat had argued that the Customs failed to provide any evidence against him but for the depositions of the co-accused. But the court rejected the plea and said that there was digital evidence indicating his involvement in the entire scandal.
The court also rejected Sivasankar’s contention in the bail application that he had serious health problems, observing that he had never taken even a day’s leave citing health reasons while he was in service. It also noted that the medical certificate that he had presented in support did not specifically state what he has claimed. While rejecting all of Sivasankar’s arguments, the court agreed with the Customs claim that he had used hospitalisation to dodge investigations and also noted that he had tried to hide the fact that he had been using more than one mobile phone.