New Delhi: A day after the Centre handed over probe into the Kerala gold smuggling case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Kerala High Court on Friday adjourned hearing of anticipatory bail plea of a key accused till Tuesday. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: CM Pinarayi Vijayan Writes to PM Modi, Seeks Probe Into Scandal
The hearing was deferred after Centre’s counsel Ravi Prakash told the court that since the NIA has taken over the probe, the High Court cannot entertain the bail plea, which, he said, should be taken up by a special court. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: 'CM Pinarayi Vijayan Should Resign,' Says Congress Over Money Laundering Case
Notably, the anticipatory bail plea was filed by Swapna Suresh, one of the two main accused in the case. While the other accused, who claims to have worked at the UAE Consulate-General in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, has already been arrested, Swapna has gone ‘underground’.
Swapna, who herself is reported to have worked at the UAE Consulate-General, was sacked from the state I-T Department after the case came to light. M Sivasankar, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s special secretary, who was involved in hiring of Swapna, too has been transferred.
The controversy pertains to seizure of 30 kg gold, worth crores, at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport last Sunday from an air consignment from the UAE to the country’s consulate in the city. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has came under fire for his alleged role in the case, on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking ‘effective investigation’ into the case.
Earlier, Congress leader and leader of the opposition in Kerala Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, too, had written to PM Modi, seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case.