The Kerala High Court on Friday quashed two FIRs against unnamed Enforcement Directorate officials (ED) for allegedly coercing the prime accused in the gold smuggling case to give statements implicating Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The court acted upon an ED petition, which wanted the FIRs to be quashed or the probe to be transferred to the CBI to ensure an impartial investigation. The HC held that the Kerala Police should have approached the Special PMLA Court, which is considering the cases.
The FIRs were registered on the basis of an alleged audio clip by accused Swapna Suresh alleging she was coerced into implicating the CM. She claimed that officials were forcing her to confess she had traveled to the UAE with M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to the CM, for financial negotiations meant for the CM. Close on the heels of this statement, another accused, Sandeep Nair, had written a letter to the district court in Ernakulam alleging that ED officials were forcing him to implicate Vijayan.
The FIRs were registered under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 192 (fabricating false evidence) and 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.