The affidavit said: “Even though a letter was sent by the CM of Kerala to the PM, when the investigation progressed and the role of his own then Principal Secretary was detected, the state machinery turned against the ED and registered false cases by influencing the accused and making efforts to derail the investigation and trial.”
The ED said one of the key accused, who was then the Principal Secretary, M. Sivasankar, is continuing in a key high-ranking position in the government of Kerala even today and if the trial continued in Kerala, the high profile accused will influence the accused persons and witnesses and thereby derail the fair and independent trial of the case.
“The above two points clearly explains the mala fide action taken by the state against the ED and mala fide inaction of not taking any action against the actual culprits. Furthermore, the influence of a Principal Secretary to the CM of the state over the state machinery has to be given due consideration and cannot be discounted,” it added.
The ED said after coming out on bail, IAS officer Sivasankar has been influencing other accused and is using the state machinery to fabricate false evidence against the investigating officer and the investigating agency. “The very fact that the state government constituted a commission of inquiry to inquire into an investigation conducted by a central investigating agency demonstrates that powerful persons involved in the case who are holding high offices in the Government of Kerala, are willing to misuse the state machinery and powers in order to thwart and derails proceedings in the case,” it added.
On October 10, the Supreme Court issued notice to Kerala government on a plea filed by the Enforcement Directorate seeking transfer of the trial in the gold smuggling case from Kerala to Karnataka.
The ED has 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.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, referred to the averments made by Kerala government in its impleading application that the statements of accused Swapna Suresh regarding the involvement of those holding high political offices created riots in the state. Mehta added these statements are enough to conclude that free and fair trial is impossible in Kerala.
Mehta submitted that Kerala Police lodged an FIR against ED alleging fabrication of evidence, which was quashed by the Kerala High Court, and also cited allegations made by accused Swapna Suresh and other accused regarding pressure exerted by the Kerala Police.
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