Principal Session Court in Ernakulam (Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases) has denied bail to suspended Kerala IAS officer M Sivasankar in the black money case. A few days ago, the former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had claimed that the Enforcement Directorate had arrested him after he refused to comply with their “demands to name high-level political targets”. Sivasankar had added that the ED had been spreading false claims in their investigation.
However, ED had submitted a rebuttal to his claims with the Court today morning. The Court had taken into consideration both the arguments before passing the order. The main concern of the court for not giving bail was that the investigation is still ongoing. The ED had before claimed that granting bail to Sivasankar could help him influence the investigation. In their latest reply, the ED had said that many of Sivasankar’s claims are baseless and that some “need no reply”.
The suspended IAS officer had said that many of the evidence against him isn’t strong enough, especially the fact that ED and the National Investigation Agency differed on the source of the money found in the locker belonging to second accused Swapna Suresh. Initially, NIA, as well as ED, assumed that the money had been the proceeds from the gold smuggling, but then ED’s questioning of Swapna revealed that the money was a kickback for Sivasankar for the latter’s assistance in the Life Mission scam. The ED noted that the investigation had been in process and thus their findings had changed based on further investigation.