KOCHI: M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to Kerala chief minister, was remanded to 14 days of judicial custody by Ernakulam Principal Sessions court on Thursday.
The senior IAS officer, suspended from service following his alleged links with the accused in the controversial gold smuggling case, was in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate for 14 days. He was produced before the court by the central agency as his custody term ended. It was on October 28 that Sivasankar was taken into custody by the ED.
The court considered the bail application of Sivasankar on Thursday and posted the matter for orders on November 17. According to regional media reports, the IAS officer will be sent to Ernakulam district prison.
The ED submitted before the court that the money recovered from the bank lockers of Swapna Suresh, another accused in the case, was the commission for Sivasankar for the LIFE Mission housing project.
The ED strongly opposed the bail application. According to the Central agency, Sivasankar was involved in the gold smuggling through diplomatic channels and the ED submitted evidences like Whatsapp chats between Sivasankar and Swapna and the statement made by Swapna against the IAS officer in a sealed cover, added media reports.
However, counsel appearing for Sivasankar argued that the allegations were based on the statements made by Swapana and the Central agency has nothing substantial to prove it.
Three agencies, Customs, ED and National Investigation Agency are probing the gold smuggling case, which came out when the Customs officials at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport seized 30 kilograms of gold from an air cargo baggage addressed to UAE consulate.