Gold smuggling case: Kerala govt submits affidavit in ED’s plea for transfer of trial

Supreme Court of India | Photo: ANI

New Delhi: Kerala government submitted an affidavit in Supreme Court on Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking the transfer of the trial in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case from the state to Karnataka.

Reiterating its stand against the ED’s contentions, the state government in its affidavit has hit out the central agency and Swapna Suresh, the main accused in the case. Some of the major arguments are:

  • There is conspiracy and external pressure behind Swapna’s recent statements before Magistrate. ED recorded her statements 12 times on which she never made allegations against high-profile individuals. The initial complaint and follow up complaints did not have such remarks.
  • It was based on central agency’s demand that Kerala Police registered case against the ED officials. A single-member judicial commission was also set up in the wake of central agency’s intervention.
  • At present, accused Sivasankar is not under CMO and hence, ED’s allegation that police force is under his influence is baseless.
  • The probe against release of Swapna’s voice clip through an online portal was initiated over the letter sent by ED to prison department.
The ED in its plea had alleged that "free and fair trial" of the case is not possible in Kerala due to the close nexus between the accused and top officials and functionaries in the Kerala government.

After hearing the matter, the top court allowed the Kerala government to file its reply within seven days and said it will dispose of the matter on the next hearing, slated for October 20.

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