Probe against ED: A political decision that hit target
Kochi: The cases registered against the Enforcement Directorate officials by the Crime Branch in connection with the gold smuggling case were aimed to check the investigation from reaching the higher end of the government amid the Assembly elections.
It is reported that ED wanted to probe into the high and mighty in the government based on the statements given by Swapna Suresh, the accused in gold smuggling case. Realizing the danger in it, the Crime Branch cases were registered against ED to put a temporary stop. This hit the target. The election was over by the time ED moved HC and the verdict came out.
With the cases, CPM could also create an image that it resisted the Centre’s move of revenge against the non-BJP ruled states using central agencies.
The HC quashing the FIRs registered against ED, noting that the procedures were not followed, is a setback to the government. But HC directing the case to the court handling financial crimes shows the case is far from over. Also, as the polls are over, the government doesn’t view it as a crisis.
The Crime Branch registered the case based on the statement of Swapna that she was forced to take the name of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the gold smuggling case by ED officials. This was a weapon the government obtained during the polls. Also, the bail plea by another accused in the case Sandeep Nair citing similar reasons strengthened the case.
The primary charge sheet submitted by ED in court over the gold smuggling case mentioned CM. Swapna’s statement that she met with CM’s former Principal Secretary M Sivasankar in his presence five or six times and that she is familiar to the CM as the secretary to UAE Consulate General, was also included in the charge sheet. Swapna also told ED that she was present when former UAE Consulate General Jamal Hussain Al Zaabi met CM at his residence. The report also stated that CM was aware of Swapna’s appointment to the Space Park.