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Sivasankar’s name missing in NIA charge-sheet in Kerala gold smuggling case

However, this does not mean Sivasankar has been given a clean chit in the case

sivasankar-kerala-gold-case [File] M. Sivasankar (left) being taken to a special court in Kochi | PTI

Former principal secretary of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan M. Sivasankar received temporary relief in the Kerala gold smuggling case after the National Investigation Agency filed a supplementary charge-sheet which does not name him as an accused.

Sivasankar has been questioned by the counter terror agency several times in the last few months about his alleged links to the main accused in the case Swapna Suresh.

Agency sources told THE WEEK that this does not mean that Sivasankar has been given a clean chit in the case.

“The case is still under investigation. Those who have been named in the charge-sheet so far have substantial evidence against them,” said an official.

Sources also said that the individual role of Sivasankar has been under scrutiny and it does not mean that the agency was investigating the chief minister’s office.

“The probe into the gold smuggling case is still open. Sivasankar has been examined in the case but not arrested,” the official added.

While Sivasankar’s role continues to be under scrutiny of the NIA and Enforcement Directorate, both the agencies will need concrete evidence to slap charges against the retired bureaucrat.

In January, the NIA had filed a charge-sheet against 20 persons accused in the case naming Sarith P.S., Swapna Prabha Suresh, Ramees K.T., Jalal A.M. Mohammed Shafi and others as accused under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

According to NIA sources, key accused Swapna had reportedly confessed about her close links in the office of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan—the agency has to gather more evidence beyond Swapna’s confessional statement to establish Sivasankar’s role in the case.

While ED sources claimed that the anti-money laundering agency has substantial evidence of assistance given to Swapna through Sivasankar’s intervention, the NIA probing the counter terror angle in the case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) needs to independently corroborate his role before it can file a charge-sheet against him.


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