M Sivasankar
M SivasankarIANS (File photo)

Don't arrest IAS officer Sivasankar till Oct 23: Kerala HC

Kochi, October 19, 2020

Now-suspended senior IAS officer M Sivasankar on Monday got a relief from the Kerala High Court as it directed the Customs not to arrest him till Friday.

On Monday, the counsel for Sivasankar -- former Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan -- had moved an urgent anticipatory bail plea, insisting it should be heard during the day itself as he felt that the Customs might arrest him in the gold smuggling case.

On Friday, when Sivasankar was asked to appear before the Customs officials for questioning, he said he was unwell. But the Customs officials visited his house and were in the process of taking him to their office here, when he said he was unwell.

Soon, he was moved to a private hospital after he complained of chest pain. The following day, an angiography revealed that he was fine, but after he complained of back pain, he was moved to the Medical College hospital here on Saturday and is likely to be discharged later in the day.

On Friday, the High Court will hear more arguments from the Enforcement Directorate and Customs before pronouncing the final orders.

Sivasankar had last Wednesday secured an order from the same bench of the High Court after he moved the court for anticipatory bail as the Enforcement Directorate was breathing down his neck.

The Customs had arrested PS Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate here, on July 5 for allegedly smuggling gold in a diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate. Another former Consulate staff Swapna Suresh and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru.

Vijayan removed Sivasankar as his Principal Secretary and then as IT Secretary after it allegedly surfaced that Swapna and Sivasankar were close friends.


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