12
Wednesday
May 2021
6:55 PM IST
News Headlines
Tour of Sri Lanka: Two-way fight for India captaincy between Hardik and Shikhar        India projected to grow at 10.1% in 2022 but outlook for 2021 highly fragile: UN        Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas        Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths        Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel        Kerala''s ''Iron Lady'' K R Gowri Amma no more        Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma get first dose of vaccination        Sensex surges over 350 pts in early trade; Nifty tops 14,900        Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site        Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid        Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam        Obesity and Bariatric Surgery        COVID-19 pandemic: Centre releases Rs 8923.8 cr to Panchayats in 25 states        BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister        Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean        Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat        TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19        Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths        US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen        EU doesn''t renew order for AstraZeneca vaccine        
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | Health   | About Deepika 
Kerala News
Kerala HC quashes FIRs against ED officials in gold smuggling case
 
Kochi: In a jolt to the CPI(M)-led LDF government, the Kerala High Court on Friday quashed the two FIRs filed by state police against Enforcement Directorate officials for allegedly forcing the key accused in the gold smuggling case to give statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. It ordered the Special PMLA Court, examining the money trail in the smuggling, to examine the evidence collected by police. Quashing the FIRs, the court held that one of the accused has already moved the Special PMLA Court, seeking remedy for his grievance that the ED officials were fabricating evidence. Justice V G Arun directed the crime branch to submit all information gathered in the matter to the PMLA court in a sealed cover. "...the FIR and further proceedings (in the case) are quashed.

The investigating officer shall forthwith submit all records pertaining to the crimes before the special court in a sealed cover. The learned special judge can look into those records and other materials, if any available, while deciding whether it is expedient to conduct an enquiry," the court said. The judgment came in two pleas filed by Deputy Director of ED Kochi Zone, P Radhakrishnan. The petitions challenged the two FIRs registered by the crime branch on the basis of a purported audio clip by gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, alleging she was coerced to implicate the CM in the case and a similar charge from a letter, reportedly ritten by co-accused Sandeep Nair. In its petition, the ED had alleged that one of the FIRs was registered against its unnamed officials with "ulterior motive of derailing the statutory investigation" under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) into a large economic offence of smuggling of huge quantities of gold.

The order said the special court has already received a "complaint from Sandeep Nair and has allowed the application submitted by the crime branch" to question him in jail. "The statement of Sandeep Nair recorded thereafter was made available to me in sealed cover. In my considered opinion, while interdicting the police from continuing the investigation, the interest of justice requires that the special judge be permitted to look into the materials collected by the crime branch treating it as the information so as to decide whether it is expedient to conduct an enquiry," the court said. The ED had prayed that the FIR be quashed or the probe be transferred from the state police to the CBI to ensure an impartial investigation, "because certain highly placed persons are involved in the case." It had also submitted that the preliminary inquiry allegedly conducted by the state police was "clearly a farce."

The Crime Branch had registered the first case on March 17 on the basis of a report filed by its team probing the leak of a voice clip, purportedly that of Suresh. The FIR said the ED officials, while questioning Swapna Suresh on August 12 and 13 2020, forced her to give false false statements against the CM in order to ''fabricate evidence.'' A case was registered under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 192 (fabricating false evidence), 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence), among others, of the Indian Penal Code. Suresh, a former employee of the UAE consulate here, is the prime accused in the case relating to the smuggling of 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore in a diplomatic baggage and is now under judicial custody since her arrest.

In a voice clip purported to be that of Suresh circulated a few months ago, it was alleged that some ED officials had threatened her while she was being interrogated at its office in Kochi in August 2020 to give statements against Vijayan and some ministers. Later, two women civil police officers,who were with her when she was questioned by the ED, also reportedly claimed they had heard the ED officials forcing her to name Vijayan. Besides the ED,the Customs and the National Investigation Agency are also probing the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel. Meanwhile, BJP leader V Muraleedharan said the quashing of FIRs by the HC was a "befitting reply to those campaigning against Central agencies" and "a lesson for the CPI(M) and the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

He said the HC order upholds the integrity and impartiality of agencies likeED. "It once again exposed the lies, Half-truths spread by @vijayanpinarayiand his self-interest driven coterie. They have been misleading people with fabricated narratives. The order burst the myths spread by @CPIMKerala," Muraleedharan tweeted. However, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said the verdict has exposed the ''nexus'' between BJP and CPI(M). "Today Kerala HC has exposed the nexus between BJP and CPM. The vigilance case against ED was a false bravado by CPM against the Centre to fool the people. Now await for the verdict by people which will quash the fake claims by LDF," Chennithala tweeted.


Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel
Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat
TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19
Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths
COVID-19: Kerala logs 41,971 cases, 64 deaths
Temples to remain shut during lockdown in Kerala
COVID spike : 13KL oxygen plant being set up at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital in Kerala
Funeral of Philipose Mar Chrysostom held with state honours
COVID-19: Kerala logs 42,464 cases, 63 deaths
Former head of Mar Thoma Church Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom passes away
COVID-19:Kerala to strengthen anti-COVID measures, to deploy medical students to tackle situation
BJP loses lone seat in Kerala;'Metroman', state president fail
Lack of strong leadership in state led to UDF's downfall
Kerala CM requests people to use double masks
"Ensure no assembly of people in Kerala for 4 days from May 1 in connection with counting of votes"
Kerala mulling complete lockdown in dists with severe spread; 37,199 cases reported
Woman falls down from train, suffers injury, ornaments robbed
Kerala logs over 35,000 cases in highest single day surge, 41 deaths
No plans for lockdown now, but more restrictions to be put in place: CM
Ker logs over 32k new COVID cases in highest single day surge; CM says situation in state grim
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas
 Gaza City: A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusa
Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site
Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean
US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen
NATIONAL NEWS
Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths
 New Delhi: The national capital continues to register a dip in daily COVID-19 cases, as the city rec
Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid
BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister
Mumbai civic body is suppressing COVID-19 death toll: Fadnavis
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2021 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.