Kerala turned against ED: The Kerala ‘gold smuggling case’, which got national attention after the key accused, Swapna Suresh alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family members have links to the case, is again in the news with the Enforcement Directorate(ED)alleged that the state machinery with the help of the state police fabricated false materials against the investigating officer and registered false cases for intimidating the investigating officer.
The ED has told the Supreme Court that the Kerala government turned against the Central government agency in the gold smuggling case after the involvement of the former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came to light.
In a rejoinder affidavit filed by the ED before the apex court on Wednesday , the agency said that though the CM himself had initially written to the Prime Minister seeking a fair probe, the State machinery turned against the ED once the role of CM’s former personal secretary M Sivasankar was unearthed.
“The state machinery with the help of the state police fabricated false materials against the IO and registered 02 false cases for intimidating the I.O. with the intention of derailing the ongoing investigation and delaying the trial process.”
The rejoinder was filed in a plea moved by the ED seeking transfer the trial in the 2020 gold smuggling case from Kerala to Karnaka’s Bengaluru.
The plea moved by the ED alleged that the accused are being intimidated and influenced though threats by Senior Officials of the Kerala Police and the State government at the behest of M Sivasankar, who was also a former principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The ED claimed that the same is being done in order to derail the trial and thereby, protect certain powerful government officials who are purportedly involved in the case.
The rejoinder further highlighted the Kerala government’s contention in the impleadment application that Suresh’s statement had the potential to cause ‘widespread riots’ in the State.
“It is therefore evident from the pleading of the State of Kerala in its impleadment application itself that the atmosphere in the State of Kerala is so charged in relation to this case that a free, fair, tranquil and independent trial free from external and extraneous influence would be almost impossible. This clearly establishes the case of the ED to seek a transfer of the trial out of Kerala. Therefore, the objection by the State of Kerala … is wholly unwarranted,” the affidavit said.
The ED also offered to place before the top court, in a sealed cover, the statement of key accused Swapna Suresh, which was recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc) before a magistrate.