india

Case against officials: ED moves High Court

Forcing Swapna to give statement against CM

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved the Kerala High Court against the registration of a criminal case by the police against certain unnamed ED officials for forcing Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling case as well as in the money laundering case, to give accusatory statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The petition moved by P. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, Enforcement Directorate, Kochi, on Tuesday sought to quash the case or in the alternative pleaded for a CBI probe into the case.

The FIR has charged the unnamed officials with charges of conspiracy, threatening and forging an incorrect document, and other charges. It was launched on the basis of the statements of two woman civil police officers who were allegedly on guard duty while Swapna Suresh was in the ED custody.

The alleged statements were made by the officers during an inquiry conducted by the State police into the leakage of an audio recording purportedly containing the voice of accused Swapna Suresh.

Mr. Radhakrishan alleged that the FIR had been registered with an oblique motive to put pressure on the investigating officers. It was aimed not only at derailing the statutory investigation into the offence of money laundering committed by highly influential persons in the State, but also ensuring that the trial did not take place in a fair and impartial manner.

He pointed out that when Swapna Suresh was produced before the magistrate court in the money laundering case, she did not make any such complaint of pressure or coercion being made on her before the court. In fact, when enquired by the Judge, she had told that she did not have any complaints.

M. Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, now out on bail in the money laundering case, was the mastermind behind the illegal registration of the FIR.

He had been influencing other accused and using the State machinery to fabricate false evidence against the ED officials. It was nothing but interference in the investigation of the ED and opposed to the law. Terming the registration of FIR as illegal, the petitoner ponted out that it had been instituted without resorting to the mandatory requirements under Section 195 of Cr.PC.

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