May 2021
8:52 PM IST
News Headlines
FDA gives permission to Gentek Life Sciences to manufacture Amphotericin B injection in Wardha        England coach Silverwood to take break during SL, Pakistan ODI series        Shubman Gill receives first jab of COVID-19 vaccine        UN calls for de-escalation of Israel,Palestine conflict        Hamas turned residential areas in Gaza Strip into military strongholds: Israel Military        Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Coast Guard rescues three stranded fishermen off Kannur        PIL in SC seeking directions to use PM Cares fund for Covid vaccines, O2 plants        Cyclone Tauktae: PM Modi asks officials to pay special attention to Covid hospitals, vaccine cold chain & power back-up        Wipro Ltd appoints Tulsi Naidu to its board as an Independent Director        Bata India appoints Gunjan Shah as the new CEO        Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips earn first NZC central contracts        Training in bio-bubble has brought team closer: Gurjant Singh        Twelve dead in Afghanistan Mosque blast        KP Oli takes oath as Nepal PM; to prove majority within 30 days        Japan to send USD 18.5 Mln worth COVID-19 aid to India        Plea in SC seeks cancellation of CBSE, ICSE class 12 Exams        Monsoon likely to reach Kerala on May 31: IMD        PM releases 8th instalment of financial benefit under PM-KISAN        Women''s head coach: Incumbent Raman, ex-coach Powar appear for interview        Independent panel recommends voluntary licensing and tech transfer for producing COVID-19 vaccines        
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | Health   | About Deepika 
Main 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.

Cyclone Tauktae: PM Modi asks officials to pay special attention to Covid hospitals, vaccine cold chain & power back-up
PM releases 8th instalment of financial benefit under PM-KISAN
Israeli strike brings down most of Gaza high-rise building
Kerala''s ''Iron Lady'' K R Gowri Amma no more
Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam
COVID-19 pandemic: Centre releases Rs 8923.8 cr to Panchayats in 25 states
SC constitutes 12-member National Task Force to facilitate public health response to pandemic
Complete lockdown to be enforced strictly; guidelines for working of financial sector modified
COVID-19: Kerala announces complete lockdown from May 8
SC strikes down Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas, terms it unconstitutional
Centre seeks report from West Bengal Govt on post election violence
Ruling LDF heading for a historic win in Kerala
Can''t leave to private vaccine manufacturers to decide quota of each State: SC to Centre
Death toll from stampede at religious holiday celebration in Israel reaches 38
Kerala govt to procure 1 cr COVID-19 vaccine doses for those over 18 yrs
COVID-19: SC says it can''t be mute spectator in national crisis, doesn''t intend to supplant HC
Kerala bans political, religous events; cinemas, malls,gyms to remain closed from April 27
Will defeat second wave of Covid-19 too: Modi
Capital crumbles under Covid:20 die in Jaipur Golden Hospital from alleged oxygen shortage
COVID: Delhi reports 306 fatalities, 26,169 new cases; positivity rate swells to 36.24 pc
Kerala wants Centre to provide more vaccines
 Thiruvananthapuram: Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the state government on Wednesday urged th  
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
UN calls for de-escalation of Israel,Palestine conflict
 Geneva: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Saturday called for strict respec
Hamas turned residential areas in Gaza Strip into military strongholds: Israel Military
Twelve dead in Afghanistan Mosque blast
KP Oli takes oath as Nepal PM; to prove majority within 30 days
Cyclone Tauktae: Indian Coast Guard rescues three stranded fishermen off Kannur
 New Delhi: Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Saturday said that it has rescued three fishermen stranded in
PIL in SC seeking directions to use PM Cares fund for Covid vaccines, O2 plants
Plea in SC seeks cancellation of CBSE, ICSE class 12 Exams
Monsoon likely to reach Kerala on May 31: IMD
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2021 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.