Kerala gold smuggling: Special court disposes of Sivasankar’s bail plea

Kochi: A special NIA court in Kochi on Thursday disposed of an anticipatory bail plea filed by M Sivasankar, former principal secretary of the Kerala Chief Ministers Office, in connection with a case related to gold smuggling.

The court disposed of the anticipatory bail plea after it was informed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that Sivasankar is not an accused as of now and the arrest is not under consideration. “So the application is premature,” the NIA submitted.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court is slated to consider the anticipatory bail pleas of Sivasankar in the case registered by the Enforcement Directorate and the Customs department tomorrow.

The Customs department had recently filed its response on the anticipatory bail plea in the matter and submitted that Sivasankar had faked illness to get admitted to a hospital.

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Sivasankar, who was hospitalised after he complained of uneasiness while he was summoned for questioning by the Customs, was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

The Customs Department had submitted that the anticipatory bail plea is not maintainable in law particularly under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which deals with the direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.

“The application is not maintainable in law at all particularly under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is mandatory under that section that a person seeking the discretionary powers of the court should satisfy in the application for pre-arrest bail that he is charged with non-bailable offences and that he apprehends arrest…,” it had said.

The case, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, the National Investigation Agency and the Customs department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.

The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5 this year.

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