Kerala govt vs ED: State to start judicial probe against agency

The state Crime Branch had filed a case against the ED, alleging false evidence was created against the CM in the gold smuggling case.
Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan
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In a development in the ongoing gold and dollar smuggling cases in Kerala, the state government has decided to recommend a judicial enquiry against central probe agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate, which are investigating the cases.  The decision in this regard was taken at a special cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram. "The state cabinet has decided to recommend a judicial probe against the central agencies for derailing the probe in the gold and dollar smuggling matters. Since there is a model code of conduct in force, the commission will be appointed only after seeking permission from the Election Commission," a senior government source told PTI.

As per reports, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that the central agencies are trying to “tarnish” the Left government, as the state is gearing up for the upcoming Assembly elections. Earlier in March, the State Crime Branch filed a case against the ED alleging that the latter created false evidence against the Chief Minister in the gold smuggling. The first information report (FIR) filed against the ED states that ED sleuths forced Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, to submit a false statement about the involvement of the CM in the case. According to the FIR, the ED questioned Swapna on April 12 and 13, 2020.

On Thursday, the Kerala High Court had refused to stay the police probe against the ED. However, Justice VG Arun directed that no action shall be taken against the ED officials on the basis of FIR until March 30.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor Generals SV Raju and KM Nataraj appeared for the ED’s Cochin zone deputy director P Radhakrishnan, the petitioner in the case.

The Kerala government had also approached the High Court against Central Bureau of Investigation’s probe in the Life Mission housing project of the state.

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