M Sivasankar ~ Photo: B Muralikrishnan| Mathrubhumi
Kochi: Chief Minister’s former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar has been released from jail on bail after being locked up for 98 days.
Allegations against M Sivasankar were raised as soon the smuggled gold was caught at Thiruvananthapuram international airport. More details emerged after his relationship with Swapna Suresh, the accused in the case, came out. That was when Sivasankar came under the radar of central investigations agencies. He was interrogated for several hours on several days in connection with this.
ED took Sivasankar into custody on October 28, 2020 from an ayurveda hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. The arrest was made after top ED officials from Chennai arrived at Kochi to interrogate him.
ED found out that the Rs 1.5 crores that the NIA seized from Swapna Suresh’s locker, was Sivasankar’s share of the commission in the Vadakkancherry Life Mission scam. However, the High Court granted him bail in the black money case. The HC observed that ED alleged Sivasankar’s role only in the case of Rs 65 lakhs that was found in Swapna’s locker.
The court also pointed out that there was no evidence for his role in the money seized from another person's locker. The court granted bail as the black money case was worth less than Rs 1 crore.
The Customs department claimed that Sivasankar also had a role in the gold smuggling case and took him into custody. The court granted him bail as the charge sheet was not filed within 60 days. It was following this that the Customs arrested Sivasankar in the dollar smuggling case. The arrest was made in order to prevent his release from jail.
However, Sivasankar received bail in this case as Customs department took a stance that it was not necessary to interrogate him. Even senior Supreme Court advocate Jaydeep Gupta appeared in the court on Sivasankar’s behalf.
Sivasankar was released from prison by 2.10 pm on Wednesday after his family produced the bail order at the jail. The jail authorities handed over the books that the IAS officer was reading inside the jail when he came out.