Swapna raises allegation against CM and others

Swapna Suresh

Swapna Suresh

Swapna Suresh, an accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, levelled allegations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his family members besides some top bureaucrats, including M. Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, in connection with some smuggling activities.

Swapna also raised allegations against K.T. Jaleel, a Minister in the previous Cabinet led by Mr. Vijayan, and C.M. Raveendran, who was in the Chief Minister’s Office earlier.

The allegations on the involvement of these persons in various smuggling activities were made in a statement given before a magistrate in Ernakulam under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), she said.

The section deals with recording of any confession or statement made to a Judicial magistrate in the course of an investigation or at any time afterwards before the commencement of an inquiry or a trial. The magistrate shall also inform the person who is making the confession that he/she is not bound to make a confession and such confessions shall be used as evidence against him.

For a statement made under Sec 164 to become legally valid, the person who is making the statement shall stick to it in the court which would be trying the case. If the person who makes such sworn statements retracts from it later, the person shall be tried for the offence of perjury, legal sources indicated.

If the person who is making the allegations fails to produce evidence before a court of law to substantiate the allegations, the statements made under Section 164 ends up as a statement with no evidential value, a legal expert said.

In this case, the statements of Swapna appeared to be based on hearsay, which may be of no legal consequence as hearsay evidence is considered to be of no evidence. It will be the responsibility of Swapna to bring to court evidence to substantiate the allegations, which appeared to be per se defamatory in nature, he said.

As the contents of the statements will not be available in public domain, the veracity of the public statement cannot be ascertained and its contents will be known only at the trial stage. The investigation officers can access it for the purpose of investigation, he pointed out.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 3:54:03 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/swapna-raises-allegation-against-cm-and-others/article65504282.ece