Earlier the HC had granted him interim protection from arrest by the Enforcement Directorate,

Kerala 's Suspended IAS Officer M Sivasankar
news Court Monday, October 19, 2020 - 16:51

Former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister, M Sivasankar, is not to be arrested till October 23, the Kerala High Court told the Customs Department on Monday. On the 23rd, the court will consider Sivasankar's anticipatory bail in cases registered both by the Customs and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in connection to the gold smuggling case of Kerala.

Live Law reported that Justice Ashok Menon directed the Customs to file a counter affidavit. Sivasankar, who was on the verge of being arrested, had been hospitalised with a chest pain and been under observation since Friday. On Monday, he moved a petition seeking anticipatory bail. He is now admitted at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, taken there after initially treated at the PRS Hospital in Thiruananthapuram.

The High Court had earlier granted him interim protection from arrest by the ED, till October 23.

Advocate P Vijayabhanu who appeared for Sivasankar said that his client is willing to appear before any investigating agency, however, '600 hours of travelling for the purpose' had taken a toll on his health.

After it was revealed that he had no cardiac issues, Sivasankar was found to have had a lumbar disc prolapse and got shifted to Medical College.

Sivasankar’s name had cropped up in the gold smuggling case ever since it broke out in July and it came out that he knew one of the prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh. He has since been questioned by all three national agencies – Customs, ED and National Investigating Agency (NIA) -- which are investigating different aspects of the case. Sivasankar was suspended from both the positions he held as principal secretary to CM as well as secretary of Information Technology Department. An enquiry committee was assigned by the government to investigate the matter and it was based on their findings that Sivasankar was suspended.

Also read: 'I was point of contact btw UAE Consulate and govt since 2016': Sivasankar to ED