8 December 2022

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.

ED pleads SC To Transfer
ED pleads SC To Transfer

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.

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