The Supreme Court on Friday, January 19, granted bail to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's former principal secretary M Sivasankar, who was jailed in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to the state government's flagship project Life Mission case. A bench headed by Justice MM Sundresh made absolute the interim medical bail granted to Sivasankar in August last year and then extended from time to time. The bench, also comprising Justice SVN Bhatti, passed the bail order after verifying the medical records and clarified that it has not gone into the merits of the case.
Earlier, the top court had asked Sivasankar to undergo a medical examination at Puducherry’s Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education Research after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) demanded that the retired bureaucrat be examined in any government hospital outside Kerala. The anti-money laundering agency had opposed the grant of interim relief saying that Sivasankar's application is based on certifications issued by private hospitals.
In August 2023, the Supreme Court had ordered Sivasankar’s release on interim bail for undergoing spine surgery in a hospital of his choice after it was pointed out that he had serious health issues and needed expert treatment. The bail was extended in September, November, and December 2023.