CM Raveendran, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's additional private secretary, summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the probe into the money trail in the gold smuggling case, has moved the High Court seeking to restrain the agency from detaining him beyond a reasonable time deemed fit by the court. In his plea on Tuesday, Raveendran submitted that he was sick and has not fully recovered from the illness.
He sought permission from the court to have the presence of a legal practitioner of his choice during his appearance before the ED. His move came as the ED issued a fresh summons to him, directing him to appear before it on December 17.
Raveendran, who was issued summons thrice earlier, had not appeared before the agency citing his ill health.
In his petition, Raveendran alleged that the ED was continuously issuing him summons for his appearance despite it being informed about his illness.
"Therefore interference of this court is necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case, in as much as there is breach of the protection of law guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution," he said.
Submitting that the power under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act (PMLA) has to be judicially exercised, Raveendran alleged the ED had failed to consider his medical conditions before he was summoned to appear.
"Thus it cannot be said that the power has been judicially exercised," the plea said.
He said since he was not an accused in any case under investigation by the ED, he has a right to know and the investigation officer has a duty to disclose, the case under investigation in which his presence is required.
Seeking the court's intervention, Raveendran submitted that his prolonged detention at the office of the ED is not permissible under the PMLA.
Submitting that every proceeding, including an investigation under the PMLA, is deemed to be judicial proceeding, Raveendran said he was a sick person and it would only be just and fair if he is permitted to have the presence of a legal practitioner of his choice during the proceedings.