The Kerala High Court has given a big blow to the state government in the gold smuggling case. The court on Wednesday stayed the May 7 order issued by the state government directing it to set up a commission to probe the alleged attempt by the ED to implicate Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a gold smuggling case. Justice PB Suresh Kumar while hearing the plea of Enforcement Directorate (ED) said that if parallel investigation is done in such cases, it will hamper the investigation and it will benefit the accused.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, said that the state government cannot order this inquiry as the subject concerned comes in the Central List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. On the other hand, the state government claimed that ED is a department of the central government and as such it cannot file a writ petition. He also said that an order was issued to set up a commission of inquiry to find out the political conspiracy behind gold smuggling.
Rejecting the argument, the High Court said that the ED is not only a department of the Central Government, but a statutory body. The statutory body is entitled to file a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The court said that in such a case, the question of conspiracy will be examined by a special court, which is monitoring the investigation.
Swapna Suresh, the main accused of gold smuggling through diplomatic channels, had claimed that foreign currency was sent to CM Pinarayi Vijayan when he was on a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2017. In its reply to the show-cause notice sent on July 29, it has said that Vijayan and the then Speaker of the Assembly Sri Ramakrishnan had called for the foreign exchange through consulate general Ahmed Al Daukhi and consul general Jamal Al Jaabi.