The bench, while not staying the High Court order, granted bail to him and said, “The man is already out on bail.”
The Supreme Court on Friday appointed M.R., the former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala. Shivshankar sought answers on an appeal filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the Kerala High Court’s decision to bail him out in the gold smuggling case.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, however, did not stay the High Court order, saying “the man is already out on bail”.
“We are not putting you [Sivasankar] Inside, we are only issuing notice. No need to stay [of the HC order]. He is already out, ”commented Justice Bhushan.
Additional Solicitor General for ED SV Raju said Mr Shivshankar was “neck-deep” in the crime, which includes a well-crafted money-laundering network.
In response, Jaideep Gupta, senior advocate for Mr. Shivshankar, said that the case against his client was “harsh”.
“They are going after this man. This is a harsh case.
The Supreme Court listed the case after six weeks.
The ED stated in its appeal that Shri Shivshankar was influential and that his release would hamper the investigation in the case. ED is investigating a money laundering angle.
His anticipatory bail petition was dismissed by the Kerala High Court to Mr. Shivshankar. His detention by the ED was extended three times in the past.
The case relates to the smuggling of gold into Kerala through diplomatic channels. This came to light after 30 kg of gold worth Rs 14.82 crore was smuggled into the consignment after the Customs uncovered diplomatic goods in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2019.
The ED, the National Investigation Agency and the Customs Department are all investigating the case.