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Vijayan gets shocker as Kerala HC stays probe against ED

The ED in its petition had said that Vijayan has violated his official position by ordering this judicial probe and the Kerala government has no right to do so.

IANS | Kochi |

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan got a shocker when the High Court on Wednesday stayed the judicial probe ordered by him against ED officials who allegedly pressurized two prime accused in the gold smuggling case to confess against Vijayan.

It was the ED that approached the court against the probe and the court while staying it asked to send notices to all the parties and posted the case for further hearing on a latter-day.

The ED in its petition had said 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 out after Vijayan retained power in the April 6 assembly polls, but before he was sworn in a second time on May 20 this year.

The Commission got its act together and had given an advertisement asking those who want to give a statement can do so.

The BJP had already expressed concern in the manner in which Vijayan had gone ahead to appoint a Commission, which they termed an attack on the federal structure.

Retired Kerala High Court judge Kemal Pasha said one fails to understand the logic of the way the government went ahead with the Commission.

“This is unheard of and am surprised the court which should have dismissed the case, went and gave a stay. Any announcement of such a probe is against the federal structure,” said the former justice.

However, putting a brave face CPI-M secretary and also the Left Convener A. Vijayaraghavan said the state government has every right to approach the judiciary and that was what was done and nothing otherwise be looked into.

The premise of this judicial probe is based on a complaint by two women police officials that they were allegedly being pressurized 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 under judicial custody, that they had heard of the ED pressurizing her to name Vijayan.

Incidentally, when Vijayan went about this by registering a case by the Crime Branch and then announced judicial probe, Union Ministers including Home Minister Amit Shah, 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 Enforcement Directorate officials by the Crime Branch unit of Kerala police in the very same case.