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Kerala HC to take up ED petition for ‘detailed hearing’ on March 30

KC Gopakumar Kochi | Updated on March 24, 2021

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday adjourned to March 30 for detailed hearing a petition filed by the ED challenging the registration of a criminal case against officials of the Enforcement Directorate, Kochi for forcing Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling case as well as in the money laundering case, to give accusatory statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

When the petition filed by P Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, Enforcement Directorate, Kochi seeking to either quash the case or order a CBI probe came up for hearing, SV Raju, Additional Solicitor General of India appearing for the ED sought a stay on further proceedings.

However, Suman Chakravarthy, Senior Public Prosecutor while opposing the stay submitted that no coercive steps such as arrests, or searches would be taken by the police.

Police investigation

In fact, the police wanted to take the statements of the witnesses in the case. If a stay was granted, it would disrupt the police’s decision to record statements from the witnesses. Besides, a detailed argument was necessary on the maintainability of the petition and so he sought time to make submissions. Justice VG Arun then observed that there need not be any apprehension of the police taking coercive steps against the ED officials till March 30 in view of the prosecutor’s submission

Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India who appeared for the Deputy Director submitted when Swapna Suresh was produced before the court in the money laundering case, she did not make any such complaint of pressure or coercion on her before the court.

In fact, when enquired by the Judge she had told the court that she did not have any complaints. Had there been any torture or coercive action on the part of the ED officials, she would have told the court. The registration of FIR was illegal and it did not make out any offence.

Published on March 24, 2021

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