Kerala government orders judicial enquiry against Enforcement Directorate
After the Kerala Crime Branch filed a case against the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the state government has decided to carry out a judicial enquiry against the ED.
On Friday, the Pinarayi Vijayan government announced that they would constitute a Judicial Commission to probe against the central agency. The government stated that Justice VK Mohanan would head the Commission. However, Justice oMohanan’s appointment will need the Election Commission’s approval as the Code of Conduct is currently imposed in Kerala due to the Assembly election.
The Judicial Commission will consider the statements from officials against ED, audio message of gold smuggling case accused Swapna Suresh and PS Sarith’s letter. Reportedly, the ED pressurised Swapna into naming Vijayan during questioning in August 2020.
Last week, the Kerala Police Crime Branch registered an FIR against ED officials based on Swapna's statements. The case has been filed in court against ED officials on the charges of conspiracy and intimidation.
The Crime Branch had earlier taken statements from 18 people including Swapna. Following this, the home secretary received legal advice that a case could be registered 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.
Earlier, in the gold smuggling case, Sandeep wrote a letter to the Ernakulam District Sessions judge claiming that an ED official had forced him to name the Chief Minister, other ministers and the son of a senior leader in the case. The three-page letter addressing the district judge further claims that the ED is misleading the case.
He claims that he was not even allowed to sleep as he did not testify against the Chief Minister and was even threatened.
The letter also alleges that the officials promised him bail and more if he acted as per their direction. He further claims that his life is under threat from the ED officials.
However, the ED officials allege conspiracy behind Sandeep's letter to the district judge and said that they will look into the matter.