Kerala challenges ED bid to transfer gold smuggling case to Bengaluru

Supreme court | Shutterstock images

New Delhi: The Kerala government on Saturday approached the Supreme Court against Enforcement Directorate's (ED) petition to transfer the investigation into the 2020's gold smuggling case to Bengaluru.

In its petition, the Kerala government said that the ED is without a sufficient reason to shift the trial outside the state. It pointed out that doing so would discredit the state's administration and raises questions about the credibility of the judiciary here.

It also warned the ED from going out of their way to transfer the case on the basis of allegations raised by Swapna Suresh, the prime accused.

Home Department Additional Chief Secretary Dr V Venu, IAS, represented the state government before the court.

However, ED contests that the state government is trying to subvert the case as it hinted at the involvement of several top politicians as well.

As allegations were raised, so did the state government's efforts to mislead or create distractions, the agency said.

State's argument

In response, the Kerala government argued that even if it is indeed the case that politicians are involved, it does not warrant transferring the case.

It attacked the ED for conjuring needless apprehensions that the case would be overturned.

The government has not obstructed the investigation by central agencies. In fact, ministers and officials readily accepted the agencies' calls for questioning in the past, the Kerala government pointed out.

However, it also maintained that the allegations raised by Swapna Suresh against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan are false.

It was in July that the ED requested the trial to be shifted to Bengaluru, Karnataka. A bench headed by Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was slated to consider ED's petition on October 10.

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