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"Attempt To Prevent Investigation": ED Moves High Court Challenging Judicial Inquiry Ordered By Kerala Govt In Gold Smuggling Case

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 Jun 2021 2:40 AM GMT
Attempt To Prevent Investigation: ED Moves High Court Challenging Judicial Inquiry Ordered By Kerala Govt In Gold Smuggling Case
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The Enforcement Directorate (Cochin Zone) has moved the Kerala High Court against appointment of a Judicial commission by the State Government to inquire into conduct of various Central Agencies in Kerala from July 2020.The Kerala Government had constituted a Judicial Commission chaired by Former Kerala High Court Judge VK Mohanan to examine the alleged attempt on the part of the...

The Enforcement Directorate (Cochin Zone) has moved the Kerala High Court against appointment of a Judicial commission by the State Government to inquire into conduct of various Central Agencies in Kerala from July 2020.

The Kerala Government had constituted a Judicial Commission chaired by Former Kerala High Court Judge VK Mohanan to examine the alleged attempt on the part of the Customs Department and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to falsely implicate Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the UAE gold smuggling case.

As per the petition, the notification to the above effect issued on May 7, 2021, is an attempt of those in power to prevent the Central agency from investigating the gold smuggling case.

The plea points out that since the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and the State Home Minister were was found involved in the case, the impugned notification has been issued to "interfere impede and imperil the ongoing investigation being legitimately conducted by the Enforcement Department."

It is stated that Notification is ultra vires of the powers under Section 3 r/w 2A of Commission of Inquiry Act inasmuch as the State Government is not the appropriate authority in matters related to an entry in Central List/ List-I of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.

It is further submitted that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 is exclusively traceable to Entries 1, 10, 14, 93 of List I and does not fall under cither List II or List III.

"The Notification seeks to challenge the constitutional doctrine of Federalism apart from attempting to interdict the legitimate investigation being conducted by Enforcement Directorate In respect of the matter coming under PMLA Act," the plea states.

Earlier, two FIRs registered by the Kerala Police Crime Branch against "unnamed officials" of the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly coercing the accused in the gold smuggling case to give false incriminating statements implicate Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state functionaries.

Quashing the same in April his year, the Kerala High Court had held that the bar under Section 195(1)(b) of the CrPC was attracted in the case against the FIRs. As per Section 195(1)(b) CrPC, the cognizance of an offecne relating to fabrication of evidence in a matter pending before court can be taken only on the basis of a complaint filed by that Court.


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