Kerala

Kerala gold smuggling case: Court grants ED 7-day custody of Sivasankar

Sivasankaran, former secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister arriving at the NIA office at Kochi. File photo   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

M. Sivasankar, who has been arraigned as the fifth accused in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act case booked by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), was given to the custody of the agency for seven days.

Though the agency sought 14 days custody, the Principal Sessions judge Kauser Edappagath allowed only seven days custody considering the fact that the accused was interrogated several times earlier.

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The court asked the ED not to subject the accused to any sorts of harassment or torture and to permit him to contact his lawyer while in custody.

If the interrogation extends for three hours, there shall be a break of one hour. The interrogation shall be carried out between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and the accused shall not be interrogated after 6 p.m. The accused shall also be allowed to the rest after 6 p.m., the court ordered.

The judge directed the investigating officer P. Radhakrishnan, the Assistant Director, of the agency, to ensure all medical assistance to the accused and to provide him Ayurvedic treatment for his back pain during custody without disturbing the interrogation process. If necessary, the accused can be taken to a doctor after 6 p.m., the court directed.

The investigating officer was directed to allow the accused to interact with his wife, brother and nephew while in custody without disturbing the interrogation process.

Earlier, Mr. Sivasankaran submitted to the court that he was taken into custody while undergoing medical treatment at Ayurvedic hospital, Thiruvananthapuram and he was suffering from acute disc prolapse. He also submitted that he required to continue the medial treatment.

He also submitted that he was unable to withstand the prolonged interrogation due to ill-health and he was continuity interrogated for hours together without any break and even during the night hours.

The court also directed the investigation officer to strictly comply with all the directions and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and other mandate of law as well as the COVID protocol, while keeping the accused in custody.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 12:56:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-gold-smuggling-case-court-grants-ed-7-days-custody-of-sivasankar/article32970561.ece

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