Kerala HC Rejects Plea for ED, Customs Probe Against CM in Gold Smuggling Case

 The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking a Customs and Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the alleged involvement of high-ranking political functionaries, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in the gold smuggling through diplomatic bags case.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas rejected the petition by Aji Krishnan, the founder secretary of NGO Highrange Rural Development Society (HRDS) India, which had briefly employed Swapna Suresh — one of the accused in the case.

The dismissal of the plea was confirmed by a lawyer associated with the case.

The lawyer said the petition was dismissed as being non-maintainable and on merits.

The detailed order is not yet available.

Suresh, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, was taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with another accused Sandeep Nair from Bengaluru on July 11, 2020.

The NIA, Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Customs conducted separate probes into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.

Several people, including M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and another ex-employee of the UAE Consulate here, Sarith, were arrested in connection with the case.

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