Kochi: A court here on Tuesday refused to grant bail to IAS officer and Kerala Chief Minister’s former Principal Secretary, M. Sivasankar.
Sivasankar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on October 29 in the gold smuggling case and is being questioned by the financial probe agency.
His judicial custody ends on November 26 and prior to that, reports indicate he will be continue to be questioned by the various national probe agencies.
Heated arguments had taken place at the Principal Sessions Court with counsel for Sivasankar arguing that he was being pressurised to name high-flying ruling front political leaders, but the prosecution denied the claim.
The prosecution, however, cited several pieces of evidence against Sivasankar and it was these the court relied on to dismiss his bail plea.
The ED even contended that Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling and Life Mission cases, was being used by Sivasankar who knew everything what was happening.
The Customs had arrested P.S. Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, on July 5 for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate. Swapna, who was also an ex-employee of the Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were also arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru.
Vijayan removed Sivasankar as his Principal Secretary and then as IT Secretary after it surfaced that Swapna and Sivasankar were allegedly close friends.
Vijayan has all along said that he had no clue of what was happening, but the principal opposition parties – Congress and BJP – have alleged that he knew everything and is now scared that the probe may enter his office. The ED has asked his Assistant Private Secretary C.M. Ravindran to appear before the agency, which he has not done as he has turned Covid positive.
Meanwhile the ED has decided to examine all the prime accused again and it’s expecting that by the time the remand period ends for Sivasankar, more evidence against him may come and there is every likelihood that the Customs might also arrest of the once most powerful bureaucrat in the state.