In Karnataka, Kerala CPI (M) secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s son Bineesh had a legal bout with the Enforcement Directorate on the question of extension of remand. The ED had been questioning Bineesh on his alleged financial transaction concerning the Bengaluru drug case, Benami transactions, and money laundering for more than a week. The ED had raided Bineesh’s house as well as the latter’s close associates and their businesses just a few days ago. Today, the ED had approached a Bengaluru city civil court requesting an extension in the custody. Following the Directorate’s plea, Narcotics Control Bureau withdrew their request since two national agencies fighting it out won’t look good. In the latest update, the city court had granted a four-day extension to ED custody until November 11.
The ED has presented certain strong evidence that supports their request. They mention that they have recovered a debit card in Anoop’s name from Bineesh’s house, with the latter’s signature behind it. They have also uncovered three companies that had been registered in Bineesh’s name, and thus they need more time with him to find more about it. On top of all this, NCB wants to question Bineesh in regards to the drug sale and smuggling in Bengaluru.
On the other side, Bineesh’s lawyers are demanding bail since Bineesh is unwell. They have alleged that the ED faked medical certificate and had ignored doctors. The lawyers claim that the doctors recommended hospital admission for Bineesh. Moreover, they also say that the ED had brought the debit card with them for the raid at Bineesh’s house. Earlier, Bineesh’s wife had raised similar complaints when she refused to sign the mahasar documents. She alleged that the ED had planted the debit card at their house.
As Kerala is knee-deep in investigations involving high profile accused, various national and state agencies have been looking into more than one case. The most popular of the lot would be the gold smuggling scam that might have possible links to Kerala CM’s office. While Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has been constantly reminding media that the state had no part in it, the state Customs department has targeted their attention on Minister K T Jaleel on the transfer of dates and religious texts via the diplomatic channel. The department had sent a notice to the minister inviting him for questioning on Monday.
The Customs department had unearthed the gold smuggling operation this year, putting P S Sarith, Swapna Suresh, and M Sivasankar under their scanner. Sarith and Swapna had used their relationship with the UAE Consulate to smuggle the gold, while Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to CM Vijayan, had used his authority to allow it through. Jaleel’s relation was revealed via Swapna’s call history, while the minister had denied personal contact, explaining that the Consulate had directed him to her for distributing flood relief kits.
The Enforcement Directorate had questioned Jaleel to find out whether the Minister had disregarded the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) while bringing the Quran and dates through the diplomatic channel. According to the act, the minister would require prior permission from the Centre to accept foreign aid. Reportedly, the minister received around 300 copies of the religious text from the Consulate via diplomatic channels. Allegedly, he had also used an official vehicle to transport the books in Malappuram. On the same case, the Customs department has decided to name Sivasankar in the charge sheet.