2 FIRs filled by Kerala police against ED quashed by high court
Kerala High Court on Friday quashed two first information reports (FIRs) registered by the state police's crime branch against unnamed officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for allegedly coercing the accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case to issue false statements incriminating chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The court's judgement is being seen as a big setback for the state government in its tussle with the Centre over the case. In total, the government had filed three cases against the probe agency and also announced a judicial probe against it.
One of the cases was based on the statement of accused Sandeep Nair, in which he said there was pressure on him to implicate the state government and the CM in the smuggling case. Earlier, according to another case filed by the state police, main accused Swapna Suresh alleged that the CM, three of his ministers and the Speaker were aware of the smuggling activities through the consulate.
On Monday, the ED approached the HC and demanded that the FIRs be quashed as its officials were 'intimidated' and it was a ploy to weaken the gold smuggling case.
The main accused, including Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair, are in custody after being detained under Cofeposa (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act).