Thiruvananthapuram: Suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar, facing probe in the gold smuggling case, was shifted the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital on Saturday for specialized treatment as he was diagnosed with a disc prolapse.
Sivasankar was first admitted to the cardiac ICU of a private hospital in Karamana after he complained of uneasiness on Friday night.
Earlier in the day, a medical bulletin issued by the private hospital said that an angiography revealed he had no cardiac issues but after he complained of a bad back, further examination found that he had a lumbar disc prolapse and required more medical attention.
When Sivasankar was put in an ambulance to ferry him to the medical college hospital, a scuffle broke out between the media persons and those wheeling him out after they tried to prevent photographers from taking pictures.
Customs officials had reached his home in the city to serve notice asking him to appear before them with some relevant documents at around 6pm on Friday, when he complained of uneasiness.
Sivasankar, the former Principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was taken to the hospital by the officials in a Customs vehicle.
He had been directed by the Customs to appear before it at Kochi on Tuesday last with some documents which they had sought.
This was in continuation of Sivasankar's questioning by Customs on Saturday.
Sivasankar informed the Customs department about his inability to be present on Tuesday as he had to be at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office and was asked to turn up after the ED interrogation.
However, he failed to do so and left for Thiruvananthapuram, Customs sources said.
Customs officials then suggested that he could appear with the relevant documents in the office here on Friday to which he had agreed, the sources added.
However, when they reached his home to serve notice, he complained of uneasiness and was taken to hospital.
Following an anticipatory bail plea by Sivasankar, the Kerala high court had restrained the ED, probing the money trail in the gold smuggling case, from arresting him till October 23.
Sivasankar was earlier interrogated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate probing separate cases related to the gold smuggling using diplomatic channels through the international airport at Thiruvananthapuram.
Sivasankar came under the scanner as reports regarding his acquaintance with Swapna Suresh, one of the prime accused in the case, emerged.
The smuggling case came to the fore when Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi, seized 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from the UAE on July 5.