Bineesh Kodiyeri, the son of Kerala CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, was sent to 14-days judicial custody by a court in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Bineesh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after being called for questioning for money laundering. His bail application was also rejected.
The Special prosecutor, P Prasanna Kumar objected to the bail application citing that the investigation is still ongoing and that evidence collection with respect to property and materials was still pending. The prosecutor told the court that bail should not be granted as the key witnesses identified as Ani Kuttan and Arun S were yet to be questioned by the ED and also that evidence recovered so far after search operations was yet to be analysed. Kumar told the court that the accused could influence the case if granted bail, reported The Hindu.
The court had on three occasions extended Bineeshâ€™s custody but ED officials told the court that despite the extensions given, he was not cooperating with the probe. Bineesh has been sent to the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison. He was booked under charges of Prevention of Money Laundering Act on October 29.
Bineeshâ€™s lawyers had approached the court seeking a media gag on reporting the story. It was alleged that probe officials were leaking information to the media. The court, however, refused to pass an order in favour of Bineesh.
Another demand that was placed before the court was for a closed-door trial and that too was turned down. Meanwhile, Bineesh's bail application will be heard on November 18.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is also expected to approach the courts seeking his custodial interrogation in connection with the drug case.
Bineeshâ€™s name surfaced in the Bengaluru drug cases when Anoop Mohammed, a native of Kochi, was held by the NCB and questioned. Anoop was caught peddling drugs under the cover of running a restaurant in Bengaluru. Bineesh had maintained that he and Anoop were friends and that he had financially helped the latter to start a hotel a few years ago. Anoop was part of a gang operated by a woman named Anikha and officials had recovered a large quantity of narcotic drugs from both Anikha and Anoop in August this year.
The ED is probing the money laundering angle in connection with the drug seizures made by the NCB in Bengaluru.
(with IANS inputs)