In a startling claim, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the Kerala High Court M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was one of the key conspirators behind the sensational gold smuggling case.
In sealed envelopes submitted to the court by ED and Customs, the central agencies said Sivasankar was actually using Swapna Suresh as a tool for the clandestine operation.
It was claimed the senior bureaucrat, once considered the conscience keeper of the CM, had misused his important official position in favour of the smugglers. He had, in fact, called the Customs officials to put pressure on them to release the baggage containing the contraband gold when it was detained.
Counsels for the investigators argued Sivasankar was close to Swapna Suresh and it was not possible he was unaware of whatever was going on. The claims of the central agencies were in response to a petition by Sivasankar, seeking anticipatory bail in view of what he claimed was a relentless move to arrest him. The court ordered no arrests shall be done till October 28, when a judgment would be delivered.
The probe agencies told the court the once-powerful bureaucrat was not cooperating with the investigations and instead trying to mislead the interrogators. They asked the court to examine the evidences cited in the sealed envelopes, which the judge agreed to do.
Sivasankar’s advocate had, in fact, opposed consideration of the contents of the envelopes, citing a ruling in the case against former finance minister N Chidambaram in the Supreme Court. Customs argued Sivasankar’s plea was unsustainable as he was not yet made an accused, as decided by the SC itself. Sivasankar, on the other hand, sought to make a highly emotional pitch, saying he was being hounded by the investigating agencies and he had no prior knowledge of the smuggling operation.
He claimed he had undergone questioning by different agencies for over 100 hours and travelled for 600 hours to present himself before the interrogators. He complained this had affected his health.