Kerala HC dismisses bail plea of ex-secretary to CM in money laundering case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kerala HC dismisses bail plea of ex-secretary to CM in money laundering case

Apr 13, 2023 05:43 PM IST

A special court dealing with money laundering cases had rejected his bail petition in March first week prompting him to move the HC

The Kerala high court on Thursday rejected the bail petition of former principal secretary to chief minister M Sivasankar in money laundering case related to the alleged corruption in Life Mission project, a housing scheme for the homeless.

Sivasankar cited his health conditions and said the case was politically motivated. (Facebook)
Sivasankar cited his health conditions and said the case was politically motivated. (Facebook)

He has been in judicial custody since his arrest on February 14 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

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A special court dealing with money laundering cases had rejected his bail petition in March first week prompting him to move the HC.

But the ED opposed his bail and said, “The former bureaucrat was powerful, and he will influence the ongoing probe and witnesses in the case”.

Also Read:IAS M Sivasankar, named in Kerala’s gold smuggling case, reinstated by Vijayan govt

Sivasankar however, cited his health conditions and said the “case was politically motivated, and the ED was using him as a pawn.”

He said his arrest was a political stunt and there was no direct allegation against him.

Additional solicitor General R Sankaranarayanan, who appeared for the ED, said, “He was the kingpin, and he could impede the probe if he was released on bail”.

Later, justice A Badharudeen accepted the ED’s contention and rejected his petition.

Alleged irregularities in Life Mission project came to light when central agencies were probing the gold smuggling case in July 2020 after the customs department seized 30kg gold from a consignment that came to the UAE consulate camouflaged as a diplomatic bag.

When lockers of main accused in smuggling case Swapna Suresh were opened, agencies found 1 crore cash and 2kg gold.

Later, she had claimed that it was the commission she had received for clinching a deal with the aid agency ‘Red Crescent’ which funded a project in Vadakancherry in Thrissur district for the flood-affected people.

During investigation, it was found that 18.50 crore was collected from Red Crescent through the UAE consulate in the state capital and only 14.50 crore was spent for the project.

According to officials, the remaining amount of 4 crore was allegedly divided by government and consulate officials as their bribe.

Swapna alleged that Sivashankar asked her to keep his share, 1 crore, in her locker, officials said.

Besides Life Mission project, Sivasankar is also facing charges in smuggling case.

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