Gold and dollar smuggling cases: No further action on second FIR till April 8, Kerala govt. assures High Court


Petition challenges sessions court order letting Crime Branch question Sandeep Nair

The State government on Wednesday assured the High Court that no further steps would be taken till April 8 with respect to the investigation into the second FIR registered against certain unnamed officers of the Enforcement Director, Kochi, on the basis of a complaint by Sandeep Nair, one of the accused in the diplomatic gold and dollar smuggling cases.

The assurance was given to Justice V.G. Arun when a new petition moved by P. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, ED, Kochi against the registration of the second FIR based on a complaint from Mr. Nair, came up for hearing. The petition also challenged a sessions court order allowing the Crime Branch to question and record the statement of Mr. Nair at the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram.

Same allegations

When the petition was taken up for hearing, Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India appearing for the petitioner, sought to stay the investigation into the second FIR, arguing that it contained the same allegations that were levelled in the first FIR lodged against the ED officials on the basis of a complaint from the two women police officers. The second FIR was part of the first FIR.

Opposing the plea for a stay on the investigation, Senior Public Prosecutor Suman Chakaravarthy submitted that the FIR was quite different from the first one and that they were in no way connected with each other. The facts and events in the two FIRs were different. The prosecutor also submitted that the Crime Branch would make any seizure or arrest.

Parallel probe

The court orally observed that the legal issues in both cases were the same and therefore the court felt that the investigation should be deferred. There had to be “some deference to the court” as it was in the midst of hearing the case relating to the first FIR. In fact, the issue involved in the cases was the legality of the parallel investigations being conducted by the two investigation agencies, the court added.

The petition pointed out that there could not be a second FIR and a fresh investigation into the same alleged offences or incidents. The registration of the FIR was an abuse of the process of law and a clear attempt to overreach the proceedings pending before the court.

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