Clear evidence against Sivasankar; anticipatory bail plea immature, says HC
Kochi: The details of the High Court order that dismissed M Sivasankar’s anticipatory bail plea has been released. The anticipatory bail plea was considered by the bench led by Justice Ashok Menon.
The order stated that:
There is concrete evidence and statements against M Sivasankar in the case.
The statements of Swapna Suresh and P Venugopal hint at the involvement of Sivasankar in the case.
Anticipatory bail cannot be granted by taking into account the seriousness of the crime as per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
As a senior IAS officer, Sivasankar is bound to cooperate with the interrogation of the Enforcement Directorate.
The court accepted the argument put forward by the ED that they have to interrogate Sivasankar on the basis of the evidence collected until now.
The court asked why Sivasankar got involved in financial transactions of Swapna Suresh if their relationship was official in nature.
The Enforcement Directorate has all the evidence required to interrogate Sivasankar in connection with the case. Further action including arrest can be recorded only after completion of all formalities in connection with section 19 of the PMLA. Hence, Sivasankar does not have to be worried about his arrest at the moment. He is obliged to appear before ED officials if a summons is issued in the case, the HC added.
Sivasankar’s anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by the HC stating that it was immature. The court observed that Sivasankar is not an accused at the moment. The court was convinced of the evidence submitted by the ED and the Customs department. The court remarked that the Investigation should proceed.
The High Court had considered the important verdicts pronounced by other courts in the country. This was pointed out by lawyers who represented ED and Customs. Important evidence was submitted before the court in a sealed envelope.