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Ex-principal secy faked illness to avoid questioning in gold smuggling case: Customs challenges his anticipatory bail plea

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M Sivasankar, former principal secretary of Kerala CMO. (File photo/ANI)

Kochi (Kerala) [India], October 20 (ANI): Former principal secretary to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), M Sivasankar, faked illness to get admitted to a hospital, the Customs department submitted before the High Court on Tuesday, challenging his anticipatory bail plea in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case.
Sivasankar, who was hospitalised after he complained of uneasiness while he was summoned for questioning by the Customs, was discharged from the hospital on Monday.
The Customs Department submitted that the anticipatory bail plea is not maintainable in law particularly under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which deals with the direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest.
“The application is not maintainable in law at all particularly under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It is mandatory under that section that a person seeking the discretionary powers of the court should satisfy in the application for pre-arrest bail that he is charged with non-bailable offences and that he apprehends arrest…,” the Customs said.
It added both these statements are significantly and singularly absent in the application.
“The petitioner has not even disclosed to this Court what offences are charged against him, in which he has moved the application for bail,” the Customs said.
“It would appear that probably realizing that the petitioner is involved in an economic offence injuring the interest of the state even before he left Kochi anticipating arrest, he had executed a Vakalath on October 14, 2020… which shows that he had made all arrangements to pretend illness, get himself admitted in a hospital where his wife works and (sic) to avoid answering questions from the customs,” it added.
The Customs submitted that the pretended illness turned out to be fake in view of the medical opinion that the pain killers will take care of the back pain complained of.
“A person who is clearly avoiding the reach of the law and had made all preparation to defeat even the questioning is not entitled to approach this court,” it said.
The case, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, the National Investigation Agency and the Customs department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5. (ANI)

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