Friday, April 16, 2021

Kerala HC quashes FIRs against ED officials in gold smuggling case

In a jolt to the CPI(M)-led LDF government, the 

Kerala High Court

 on Friday quashed the two FIRs registered by the state police against 

Enforcement Directorate

 officials for allegedly forcing key accused in the 

gold smuggling case

 to give statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi 



Quashing the FIRs, the court held that police should have approached the Special PMLA Court, which is considering the cases related to the money trail in the gold smuggling, seeking remedy to their grievances that the ED officials were fabricating evidences.

The court also directed the investigating officer to submit all information gathered in the matter to the PMLA court in a sealed cover.

Justice V G Arun pronounced judgment in two pleas filed by Deputy Director of ED Kochi Zone, P Radhakrishnan.

The petitions challenged the two FIRs registered by the crime branch on the basis of an alleged audio clip by gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh alleging she was coerced to implicate the Chief Minister in the case and a similar allegation from a letter, allegedly written by her co-accused in the smuggling.

In a petition, the ED had alleged that one of the FIRs was registered against its unnamed officials with "ulterior motive of derailing the statutory investigation" under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) into a large economic offence of smuggling of huge quantities of gold.

The ED had prayed that the FIR be quashed or the probe be transferred from the state police to the 


 to ensure an impartial investigation, "because certain highly placed persons are involved in the case."

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