KOCHI: The Customs team probing the gold smuggling case was trying to get him remanded by registering new cases without any basis to satisfy political wisdom and other vested interests, alleged former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister M Sivasankar.
In his anticipatory bail plea submitted before the Kerala High Court on Monday, Sivasankar said the Customs was attempting to sabotage the process of law. The probe agency chose Friday evening to arrest him, though there was no need for custodial interrogation. Sivasankar submitted that he has already disclosed all the details known to him. He has been admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital due to severe back pain.
The court will consider the bail plea around 1.45 pm on Monday. The High Court had earlier ordered the Enforcement Directorate not to arrest him till October 23.
The petition stated that Sivasankar was summoned by the Customs many times and he was made to travel by road from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi more than 60 times in 30 days. Several signed statements were obtained by the Assistant Commissioner, Customs, as well as other officers. The other departments also obtained signed statements from him. "He was questioned for more than 90 hours by different agencies. And even after prolonged questioning, none of the agencies could arraign him as an accused," said the petitioner’s counsel.
According to the petitioner, two Customs officers arrived at his house at around 5.50 pm on October 16, with a summons directing him to appear before the investigators at 6.00 pm. He was totally exhausted due to constant travel between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam. Besides he was grilled by the agency till late night on October 15. The Customs team took him along with them and as he complained of chest pain, they rushed him to a nearby hospital in their car. He was admitted to PRS Hospital and later referred to Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram.
According to Sivasankar, he is holding a very senior post and cannot go absconding or avoid arrest. He is regularly appearing for questioning and is prepared to appear before the Customs as directed by the agency or by the High Court.
He alleged that one of the accused was brutally manhandled by the Customs officials to make him give statements that fit the script of the investigating agency. His statement regarding manhandling was recorded by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate.