KOCHI: Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the anticipatory bail petition filed by former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister M Sivasankar, in connection with the cases registered by the Customs and the Enforcement Directorate. Shortly after the court rejected his bail plea, the Enforcement Directorate probing the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case took Sivasankar into custody.
Justice Ashok Menon issued the order after examining the materials produced by Enforcement Directorate and Customs against Sivasankar.
The ED had informed the court that Sivasankar, was a “conspirator” and key accused while Swapna Suresh, the key accused was only a “pawn”. The central agency told the court that Sivasankar had contacted the customs officers at the Thiruvananthapuram airport multiple times requesting to release the baggage addressed to the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram through the diplomatic channel without any scrutiny or interference.
On the way to ED office, Kochi— Raam Das (@PRamdas_TNIE) October 28, 2020
M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister @vijayanpinarayi taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate minutes after High Court rejected the former's anticipatory bail pleas in the gold smugglingcase. @NewIndianXpress pic.twitter.com/q4r4K2MyoE
The agency said the “highly influential” bureaucrat was one of the conspirators behind the gold smuggling. The ED stated that it had reasons to believe that Swapna was only a pawn and Sivasankar was the main beneficiary of the proceeds of the crime. The investigation is going on in this regard and it is necessary to question Sivasankar in custody, the ED said and added that he is not cooperating with the investigation and misleading the agency.
According to the Customs, the bail application was not maintainable. It is mandatory that under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that a person seeking the discretionary powers of the court should satisfy in the application for pre-arrest bail that he is charged with non-bailable offences and that he apprehends arrest for that offences.
Both these statements were significantly absent in the application. It is not anywhere stated in the application that the petitioner has been charged with non-bailable offences. This cannot be left to a matter of inference but has to be stated specifically. Hence, the petition is not sustainable. The petitioner has not even disclosed to the court what offences are charged against him, submitted the Customs.