The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday approached the Kerala High Court with a petition seeking the court’s intervention to cancel the judicial probe ordered by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan against ED officials who pressurised two prime accused in the gold smuggling case to confess against Vijayan.
In their petition, it states that Vijayan has violated his official position by ordering this judicial probe and the Kerala government has no right to do so.
Even though the probe was announced during the fag end of the first Pinarayi Vijayan government, the orders appointing Justice (retd) V.K. Mohan came after Vijayan retained power in the April 6 assembly polls, but before he was sworn in a second time.
The Commission had given an advertisement asking those who want to give a statement to do so.
The BJP has expressed concern over the manner in which Vijayan has gone ahead and set up the Commission, which they termed an attack on the federal structure.
The premise of this judicial probe is based on a complaint by two women police officials that they were allegedly being pressurised to testify that the gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh was coerced into giving statements implicating Vijayan in the case.
According to the two women police officials, who were providing security to Swapna Suresh when in judicial custody, that they had heard of the ED pressurising her to name Vijayan.
Incidentally when Vijayan went about this by registering a case through the Crime Branch and then announcing a judicial probe, Union Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman among others had slammed such a move by the Kerala government.
In April, Vijayan suffered a setback after the Kerala High Court quashed the two FIRs registered against the Enforcement Directorate officials by the Crime Branch unit of the Kerala police in the very same case.