A discreet plan by the Customs to arrest M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was marked by high drama with the suspended bureaucrat complaining of a serious health condition while being escorted by officials.
The arrest was planned in a new case lodged by Customs to probe Sivasankar’s role in helping Swapna Suresh to get 2 lakh dollars from a bank for an onward transaction. The Customs officials have collected evidence he pressured the bank manager to do the transaction on her behalf.
A Customs team, comprising senior officials, had on Friday night served a notice to Sivasanakar and their plan was to arrest and take him to their Kochi office for probe. Sensing trouble, the former confidant of the CM contacted his lawyer and others, on whose advise probably he enacted the drama.
He asked the Customs officials to take him to a private hospital, where his wife, a doctor, was practicing. On being rushed there, he was admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit while the Customs officials stood guard.
On Saturday, an angiogram was performed on him and the reports showed he was not suffering from any heart-related problems. Sivasankar then complained of serious back pain and then he was taken through an MRI scan, which revealed he had an old disc problem, but there was no emergency.
The hospital issued a medical bulletin, which said the senior bureaucrat did not require any emergency medical care, but suggested an examination by a neurologist. The Customs officials then suggested he be referred to the specialist hospital Sri Chithra Institute of Medical Sciences, but the plan was dropped due to Covid fears. He was then transferred to Govt Medical College, where has now been admitted to ortho ICU. He is now under observation.
Sivasanakar’s plan obviously is to seek time till Monday, when he can approach the high court for anticipatory bail. He has already secured an order from the high court, preventing ED from arresting him until Oct 23, when ED is expected to provide evidence to back its claim for custody.