Kerala

Sivasankar feigned illness to avoid an interrogation by customs

Former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, M. Sivasankar, had feigned illness and got himself admitted in a hospital in Thruvananthapuram where his wife works to avoid questioning by the customs in connection with the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, according to a statement filed by the Customs before the Kerala High Court.

The statement was filed in response to an anticipatory bail petition filed by the Senior IAS officer. The court had on Tuesday directed the Customs not to arrest him till October 23 in the case.

The Customs pointed out that that the pretended illness had turned out to be a fake in view of the medical opinion which said that pain killers would take care of his backpain. Besides, he had executed a vakalath for the anticipatory bail on October 14 in Kochi before leaving for Thiruvananthapuram. However, the place where had put in his signature was not shown in the Vakalath. It shows that he had made all plans to pretend illness and get himself admitted in a hospital where his wife works to avoid questioning by the Customs.

Besides, his petition for anticipatory bail was not maintainable. It was mandatory under section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that the person who moved such petition should satisfy the court that he was charged with non-bailable offences and that he feared arrest in connection with the offences. Both these statements were absent in his petition. He had not specifically stated about the offences he had been charged with.

In his petition. Mr. Sivasankar said that despite questioning him on many occasions, the investigation agency including the customs did not get any incriminating materials to implicate him in the gold smuggling case. He apprehended that if he was arrested, the Customs officials would manhandle him. He also feared that the Customs would manage to register new crimes without any basis and get the petitioner remanded to satisfy political wisdom as well as other vested interests. Besides, custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not required.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 5:55:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/sivasankar-feigned-illness-to-avoid-an-interrogation-by-customs/article32899784.ece

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