LIFE Mission case: ED custody of M Sivasankar extended

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Sivasankar | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: A Kerala court on Monday extended, by four days, the Enforcement Directorate custody of former IAS official and Chief Minister's top aide, M.Sivasankar, in the Life Mission bribery case.

Sivasankar, who retired from service on January 31, was arrested by the ED on February 7 after three days of questioning. The next day, he was produced before the court, which handed him to ED custody till February 20.

On Monday, the ED told the court that the involvement of Sivasankar in this case is huge and they need more custody.

Before granting further custody, the court asked Sivasankar if he has any complaints of being harassed and he said no, but his counsel pointed out certain health issues.

The case registered by the ED pertains to Vijayan's pet project 'Life Mission's Wadakancherry project - intended to provide homes to the poor who lost their houses in the devastating floods of 2018.

The money to build the project came from a UAE based charity organisation and from it large sums of money was paid as commissions which was revealed by Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case and also an accused in this case.

Swapna has levelled very damaging allegations against Vijayan and his entire family, whom she claims, have been the biggest beneficiaries. She also claimed that C.M. Ravindran, the assistant principal secretary to Vijayan, knows everything and he too should be questioned.

Soon after she named Ravindran, personal chat messages of both of them came into public domain, the contents revealing on how close the two were.

The ED, in the past few days, have been able to tighten the noose around Sivasankar when they got to question him in the presence of his chartered accountant Venugopal Iyer and also the former CEO of Life Mission, now retired IAS official U.V.Jose.

Through this questioning, the ED according to sources have been able to break the defence of Sivasankar and now all eyes are if Ravindran will be asked to appear before them.

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