Deccan Chronicle

SETBACK TO KERALA GOVT AS HC QUASHES CASES FILED BY CRIME BRANCH AGAINST ED

- DC CORRESPOND­ENT

In a major setback to the CPMled-LDF government in Kerala, the Kerala High Court on Friday quashed the cases filed by the crime branch against the officials of the Enforcemen­t Directorat­e (ED) in connection with the allegation­s levelled by the prime accused in the gold smuggling case.

The HC annulled the FIRs filed by the Crime Branch pertaining to the claims made by key accused Swapna Suresh and Sandeep Nair that the ED officials had forced them to give statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Both the accused had earlier alleged that the ED officials had applied pressure on them to name top CPM leaders including the Chief Minister in the gold smuggling and money laundering cases.

The HC directed the crime branch to hand over the details of the probe carried out so far, in a sealed envelope. It directed that any further action would be taken by the trial court in the case only after the examinatio­n of the documents.

Earlier, the ED had submitted an affidavit in the High Court stating that the crime branch had registered a case against the investigat­ing officials with the ulterior motive of sabotaging the probe. This was done because they feared that the involvemen­t of important people would come out in the public domain.

The affidavit had sought the scrapping of the case registered by the crime branch against the ED.

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