Kerala HC refuses to stay police’s ED probe

4 months ago 36
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KOCHI: The

Kerala

high court on Wednesday declined to issue a stay on the police probe into allegations that the

Enforcement Directorate

team handling the

gold smuggling case

allegedly pressured prime accused

Swapna Suresh

into making a false statement against CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
Justice VG Arun, however, directed that no coercive proceedings, including arrest, be taken against the ED officials on the basis of Kerala police’s

FIR

till the court examines the matter in detail on March 30. The agency had filed a petition urging the court to quash the FIR.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta and

additional solicitor generals SV Raju

and KM Nataraj represented ED’s Cochin zone deputy director P Radhakrishnan, the petitioner in the case.
Citing the documents produced, Raju argued that the two women constables who gave statements about ED officials forcing Suresh into naming the CM were not even on duty on August 12 and 13, when the alleg-ed coercion took place.
The FIR was filed just when court proceedings in the gold smuggling case were to begin.
Senior public prosecutor Suman Chakravarthy argued that the petition filed by an ED official who wasn’t an accused in the case was not maintainable. He also said it was “unnatural” that statements of the accused in the gold smuggling case were being produced along with the petition.
The court then sought to know how these documents came to be produced before it, at which additional solicitor general Raju said these had been placed before the lower court.
The CPM state secretariat, meanwhile, said the allegations against the government and the assembly speaker in the gold smuggling case were part of a larger politically motivated conspiracy. While electioneering is in progress, central agencies are being used as a tool against the

LDF

government, it said.
According to the CPM secretariat, statements that weren’t part of the 1,000-page chargesheet have been “leaked” as statements of the accused. It was only after the Kerala assembly considered the breach of privilege motion with regard to the Wadakkanchery Life Mission flat case that the ED came up with allegations against the speaker, it said.

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