Gold Smuggling accused Sandeep Nair reiterates that the Enforcement Directorate pressurized him to incriminate Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and two other leaders in the case.
According to reports, Sandeep told the Kerala Crime Branch that the central agency pressurized him to take Vijayan’s name while in custody and later in prison. The Kerala Crime Branch team led by DySP Baiju Paulose questioned Sandeep at the Central Prison at Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram. Sandeep’s questioning took place without the knowledge of the Enforcement Directorate. The Ernakulam Sessions Court granted the Crime Branch permission to question Sandeep.
Meanwhile, the ED will approach the Sessions Court today to withdraw the permission given for questioning Sandeep. The central agency said that they were unaware that the Crime Branch took Sandeep for questioning.
Earlier, the central agency alleged that they haven't seen the copy of the Crime Branch's application filed in the court. The Crime Branch obtained permission to question him without hearing ED's explanation. They also alleged that the Crime Branch deceived the court. The ED sources even expressed suspicion over Crime Branch's action.
Sandeep had earlier written to the district judge alleging that Enforcement officials had forced him to testify against the Chief Minister while in custody. Following this, a case was filed based on a complaint by a lawyer. Sandeep had turned approver in the case recently.
The Crime Branch had earlier taken statements from 18 people including Swapna. Following this, the home secretary received legal advice that the Crime Branch could register a case against the central agency. Two woman officers told the Crime Branch that ED officials forced Swapna to give false statements against the Chief Minister during questioning.