New Delhi: The Supreme Court agreed to examine the Enforcement Directorate’s plea for transfer of trial in the gold smuggling case from Kerala to Karnataka and sought a response from the Kerala government.
A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat issued notice to the state government on a transfer plea of the agency and asked it to file a response by October 14 and posted the case for October 20 for disposal.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the agency, contended that a free and fair trial in the case was not possible in the state as ” very powerful ” people are involved and other accused and witnesses were being threatened in the state.
He said the case pending before the special PMLA court in Ernakulam be transferred to a special court in Karnataka on the ground that the respondents ( who are co-accused) are being influenced and intimidated through threats and false cases by senior officials of the Kerala police and the state government.
” The respondent No 4 M Sivasankar is one of the senior-most IAS officers in the state of Kerala who at the relevant time when the fence under section 3 of PMLA was committed was the principal secretary to the chief minister of the state, ” the petition said.