The Kerala High Court has on Monday directed the Customs not to arrest Sivasankar, sought by the Customs in connection with the gold smuggling case.

Sivasankar in a light blue shirt and a tag stands before a microphone and speaks
news Gold smuggling Monday, October 19, 2020 - 19:11

M Sivasankar, suspended IAS official and former Principal Secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has been discharged from the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, following a back problem. The former bureaucrat was being sought by the Customs in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case.

Sivasankar had earlier been questioned multiple times by the several national agencies investigating the smuggling case – including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Customs. He had been admitted to the hospital on Friday after he complained of uneasiness when Customs officials arrived at his home and served notice to appear before them at 6 pm that day. He was firstshifted to a private hospital and the next day, to the Medical college hospital.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court directed the Customs not to arrest Sivasankar till October 23, during which his anticipatory bail will be considered.

In his anticipatory bail plea moved before the High Court on Monday, Sivasankar stated that he developed chest pain while being taken by the Customs for questioning and was rushed to the hospital.

The private hospital where he was admitted had ruled out a stroke, but stated that the MRI of the spine revealed multiple disc prolapse in the lumbar and cervical region. His angiogram was normal.

The back pain was due to lumbar disc prolapse compressing the spinal roots and doctors, the hospital said.

Last week, the Kerala High Court had also given him interim protection from arrest by the ED until October 23.

Sivasankar was serving both as Principal Secretary to the CM as well as the Information Technology (IT) Secretary when his name cropped up in connection to Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case. After a preliminary enquiry the government had suspended him from both the posts.

(With PTI input)

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

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