‘Bid to fabricate evidence against higher-ups of the State’s political executive’
The State government on Thursday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the statement of Sandeep Nair, one of the accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling and dollar smuggling cases, revealed shocking and startling facts about the criminal acts of the suspects in a case registered against the officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The submission was made by the counsel for the State government when the petitions filed by P. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, ED, Kochi, against the registration of two separate first information reports (FIRs) based on a complaint from Sandeep Nair and two women police officers came up for hearing.
Counsel for the government submitted that the investigation into the complaint of Nair had revealed heinous offences of attempt to fabricate false evidence against the higher-ups of the State’s political executive at the instance of the ED officials.
A perusal of the statement of Nair would reveal that the date, time, place, nature and the substance of his complaint were materially different from the facts and allegations of the first FIR. No further details could be disclosed as the investigations were at a nascent stage and the petitioner was a very influential and powerful person. However, the statement which revealed shocking and startling facts about the criminal acts of the suspects could be placed in a sealed cover before the court, the counsel further submitted.
The counsel also pointed out that while the first FIR related to an audio clip, allegedly that of Swapna Suresh, in which she speaks about the alleged threat and coercion on her by the ED officials to fabricate false evidence, the second FIR related to torture, threat and coercion on Nair to create false evidence. Therefore, it could not be said that the two FIRS were related to “the same transaction.” The FIRs were lodged after finding that there had been a cognisable offence. The police were duty-bound to register an FIR in such circumstances. Besides, the police investigation did not impinge on the investigation being carried out by the Central agencies into the offence under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA).
‘Effort to scuttle probe’
The petitioner wanted to stall and scuttle the recording of the statements of Nair before the magistrate court under section 164 Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) as he feared that the entire conspiracy would be unravelled, the government counsel told the court.
Crime Branch affidavit
Meanwhile, the Crime Branch in an affidavit said no officers of the Customs or ED were summoned in connection with the ongoing investigations. However, Laloo, Assistant Commissioner, Customs, against whom a complaint filed by Harikrishnan M.S., Section Officer and Assistant Protocol Officer, General Administration (Political) Department, was asked to come to ascertain the veracity of the complaint. But he did not turn up.
The court will hear further arguments on the petitions on April 9.
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