Kerala Assembly Speaker's Assistant Private Secretary K Ayyappan will not appear before the Customs for questioning in connection with the infamous gold smuggling case today. This is the second time Ayyappan has skipped the interrogation.
He was asked to appear before the agency to be questioned in connection with the alleged dollar smuggling done by the accused in the gold smuggling case. Ayyappan, in reply to the Customs' notice, said that he was busy with official duties as an Assembly session is scheduled to begin on Friday (January 8) and not in a position to stay away from office.Earlier, he had informed the Customs that he would appear before the agency on Wednesday afternoon. Customs sources said a fresh notice will be issued to the official. They suspect that Ayyappan is trying to delay his questioning.
Though Ayyappan was asked to appear before the Customs officials on Tuesday for interrogation, the office of the Speaker had announced that he would not be appearing.'The Assistant private secretary is not appearing before the customs on Tuesday as he said that he had only received a telephone call from the Customs department and there was no written communique,' a press release said.
In the infamous gold smuggling case, the key accused Swapna Suresh, who was an official with the UAE consulate at Thiruvananthapuram had revealed before the Customs and Enforcement Directorate that Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan and his office had supported them in the smuggling. Swapna Suresh and her accomplices and co-accused, Sairth P and Sandeep Nair had also alleged that the Speaker was involved in the dollar smuggling racket as well.
There were also unconfirmed reports in the local media that the Customs department would soon be questioning or rather speaking to Sreeramakrishnan on the gold smuggling racket, and that the Speaker had told the press that there was no such move and that his life was an open book.
The Chief Minister's additional private secretary and the most powerful political post in the Chief Minister's office, C M Raveendran was twice called for interrogation before the Enforcement Directorate. The Chief Minister's former Principal secretary, M Sivasankar is already in judicial custody in the gold smuggling case.