ED grills CM's aide Raveendran for 13.5 hours on Thursday, it won't be the last

ED grills CM's aide Raveendran for 13.5 hours on Thursday, it won't be the last
Design: Onmanorama

CM Raveendran, the additional private secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, was interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for over thirteen hours on Thursday.

The ED has served a notice on CM Raveendran to appear before it for questioning in connection with the ongoing probe into the money laundering case linked with the gold smuggling case.

He was served the notice four times. However, on three previous occasions, Raveendran had evaded the ED's notice for questioning citing COVID-19 and other health issues.

The ED initiated the move to interrogate him based on certain disclosures made by Swapna Suresh, an accused in the gold smuggling case related to the illegal money transactions in the K-Fon and Life Mission projects.

The officials had also conducted a preliminary inquiry into the assets and investments of Raveendran and his close aide.

Raveendran is likely to be called for questioning again.

After M Sivasankar, Raveendran is the second person to be interrogated by the ED from the Chief Minister's office in the same case.

HC dismiss Raveendran's plea

In a related development, the Kerala High Court dismissed a plea filed by Raveendran seeking to restrain the ED from detaining him beyond a reasonable time as the court may deem fit.

The high court dismissed the plea, considering the arguments of the ED that there was no material to indicate that the CMO official will be harassed by the agency and also that it was premature.

In his petition filed on Tuesday, Raveendran had submitted he was sick and had not fully recovered from the illness.

He had also sought permission from the court to have the presence of a legal practitioner of his choice during his appearance before the ED.

Raveendran, in his petition, had alleged that the ED was continuously issuing him summons for his appearance despite it being informed about his illness.

“I am not well,” Raveendran says

Raveendran reportedly has spondylolysis and the post-COVID complications might have aggravated his pain.

The doctors said surgery would be avoided at this stage and the problem would be managed through physiotherapy and medication. His neuro complications are also being evaluated in detail.

Medical college Superintendent Dr M S Sharmad said that a special medical certificate has not been attached with the letter sent to the investigating agency for exempting Raveendran from questioning.

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