Holding that M. Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, had misused his privileged position as Principal Secretary and proximity to the Chief Minister to support smuggling activities with “sufficient knowledge” and his release on bail would prejudice the investigation, the Economic Offences Court, Ernakulam, denied him bail in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case.
Prima facie grounds
Rejecting the bail plea, judicial officer S. Deepu held that “strong prima facie grounds exists to hold that he is concerned with smuggling operations” and he “manipulated his powers as he could easily influence all machineries of State government”.
The “petitioner, who held various top ranking posts in the Kerala government till recently is expected to have enormous hold and influence” and his “instant release would certainly prejudice the investigation so far as his complicity is concerned,” the court held.
The court apprehended that “considering the unprecedented nature of the offence, having international ramifications, the petitioner was likely to make use of the help of big shots, with whom he had close nexus to shatter the investigation”.
The statements of the other accused, the court noted, would reveal the involvement of high-profile persons who “manipulated their official duties and thereby operated the smuggling of foreign currency”.