Kerala HC grants bail to suspended IAS officer Sivasankar

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Kochi, Jan 25 (PTI): The Kerala High Court on Monday granted bail to suspended IAS officer M Sivasankar arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on October 28 in a money- laundering case registered in connection with gold-smuggling in the state.

In a relief to the former principal secretary to Kerala Chief Minister, the Additional Chief Judicial (Economic Offences) Court, Ernakulam, also granted him default bail in a case registered by Customs in connection with the smuggling of gold.

Sivasankar, however, would continue to remain behind bars as he was arrested by the Customs on January 21 in connection with an alleged dollar-smuggling case that came to light during the probe into the gold-smuggling racket.

The High Court granted bail to Sivasankar nearly three months after he was arrested by the ED in connection with the money-laundering case.

The ED had filed a supplementary chargesheet at the court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases here on December 24, alleging that Sivasankar knowingly assisted other key accused in the gold-smuggling through diplomatic channel in Kerala.

The agency had said its investigation had revealed Sivasankar, the fifth accused in the case, indulged in criminal activities and committed scheduled offences.

The ED had filed the partial charge sheet in the court for PMLA cases, days before the 60-day limit for filing the charge sheet was to end. PTI COR TGB NVG NVG