Customs serves notice on Speaker’s personal staff

Even as Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan maintained that the notice issued by the Customs summoning his assistant private secretary K. Ayyappan for questioning in the foreign currency smuggling case was not in order, the Customs on Thursday issued notice to the official in his home address to appear before it.

Citing the rules of business of the House at a press conference on the eve of the Budget session of the Assembly, the Speaker said the Customs would have to follow the procedures and that his consent was needed to serve notice on anyone on the premises of the Assembly.

Legislature Secretary S.V. Unnikrishnan Nair had only communicated Rule 165 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Kerala Legislative Assembly to the Customs and it was not aimed to delay or derail the investigation. “We are not against any inquiry. But, the investigating agencies will have to follow the procedures,” the Speaker said.

To query on whether the Customs will summon him, Mr. Sreeramakrishnan said he had only media reports in this regard. “In my 40 years of public life, I had not taken even a bribe of ₹1. If anyone proves I have taken it, I will quit my public life. I will not bow as I have not done anything wrong,” he said.

The Customs informed the Legislature Secretary that Rule 161 to 165 have been incorporated to protect the legislature and not to shield any guilty person or to cover up any information being revealed to a competent legal authority pursuant to a legal mandate.

Accordingly a physical entry of a process server or arrest by law enforcement authority is deemed permissible only on obtaining the permission of the Speaker. The summons was issued in this instance through electronic mode without attempting physical service, the Customs had pointed out. The fresh notice to Mr. Ayyapan was served on a legal advice received by the Customs.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala condemned the Speaker for his alleged attempt to derail the foreign currency smuggling case. “The Speaker is misinterpreting the Assembly rules to save himself from the investigation. The protection available for legislators is not applicable to their staff,” he said citing a ruling of the Speaker in 1970.

You have reached your limit for free articles this month.

Subscription Benefits Include

Today’s Paper

Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.

Unlimited Access

Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.

Personalised recommendations

A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.

Faster pages

Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.


A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.


We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.

Support Quality Journalism.

*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword and print.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.