New Delhi: In further relief for former principal secretary M Sivasankar, the Supreme Court on Monday extended his interim bail in the LIFE Mission corruption case by two months on medical grounds.
Previously, Sivasankar had been granted interim bail for two months on medical grounds on August 2. He had approached the apex court seeking bail in a money laundering case in connection with the LIFE Mission corruption case on grounds of ill health.
LIFE (Livelihood, Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission project is a housing project initiated by the Kerala Government for the homeless.
A bench of Justice A S Bopanna and Justice M M Sundresh extended the interim bail till December 5, taking into consideration the medical condition of the accused and further treatment that is required.
"One surgery is complete and he is in rehabilitation. After that in the second week of October, he requires another spinal surgery,” Senior Advocate Jayanth Muthuraj informed the court.
Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj opposed the application for extension of interim bail stating that there was no sufficient material for seeking extension. "Application after application is being filed based on private certificates," he submitted in court.
"Section 45 (of PMLA) has become counterproductive. Everyone will fall sick now," Justice Bopanna said in a lighter vein.
The interim bail on August 2 was granted on the grounds that he required surgery and post-operative care. However, the court made it clear that he cannot visit any other place other than the hospital and his home during the period of bail.
The money laundering case emanates out of alleged illegal gratification obtained for awarding the contract work for the LIFE Mission's project for building 140 housing units in Thrissur district, utilising the funds donated by UAE Red Crescent, which was meant for the flood victims of Kerala.
Sivasankar had been under custody since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on February 14 this year till he was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court.
(With Live Law inputs)