Top court reprieve for Kerala gold smuggling accused IAS officer M Sivasankar
- The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy issued notice to Sivasankar on ED’s plea but refused to stay the HC order. The bench enquired from the counsel for Sivasankar if he was already out of jail.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the order granting bail to suspended Kerala bureaucrat M Sivasankar, who is accused in an alleged gold smuggling case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
After the Kerala High Court granted bail to the former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on January 25, the ED approached the top court to cancel his bail. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju who appeared for the ED submitted that Sivasankar was a key conspirator who was faking sickness. He sought stay of the HC order which had clearly noted the prima facie guilt of the accused.
The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy issued notice to Sivasankar on ED’s plea but refused to stay the HC order. The bench enquired from the counsel for Sivasankar if he was already out of jail. Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta who appeared for Sivasankar told the court that he was in custody since October 28 last year and was released from jail following the HC order.
“We will not put you in jail,” the bench remarked while rejecting ED’s request for his custody. The court noted that the HC found the accused to be suffering from serious ailments. Besides, there was nothing to show that he was involved in smuggling gold, the bench observed, adding that even the amount involving him was less than ₹one crore.
The top court is expected to hear the matter after six weeks.