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Publication Of Swapna Suresh's Sec 164 Statement : Kerala Advocate General Issues Notice To Customs Commissioner In Plea Seeking Sanction For Contempt

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
9 March 2021 1:46 PM GMT
Publication Of Swapna Sureshs Sec 164 Statement : Kerala Advocate General Issues Notice To Customs Commissioner In Plea Seeking Sanction For Contempt
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The Advocate General of Kerala CP Sudhakara Prasad has issued notice to the Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar on a petition seeking sanction to initiate criminal contempt of court action over the publication of statements of smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, recorded under Section 164(1) of the CrPC.Swapna Suresh had purportedly implicated the Chief Minister, ministers, the Speaker and others...

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The Advocate General of Kerala CP Sudhakara Prasad has issued notice to the Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar on a petition seeking sanction to initiate criminal contempt of court action over the publication of statements of smuggling accused Swapna Suresh, recorded under Section 164(1) of the CrPC.

Swapna Suresh had purportedly implicated the Chief Minister, ministers, the Speaker and others in statements made before the Magistrate under Section 164(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The complainant, politician KJ Jacob, presented a petition under the Contempt of Courts Act, seeking the institution of criminal contempt proceedings against the Customs Official.

In his petition, the politician questions the timing of the said disclosures being revealed in a case that did not even pertain to Swapna's statements to the Magistrate.

Terming the statements as an attempt at maligning the political leaders of the ruling coalition of the State,the petition states,

"It is crystal clear that Ms. Swapna was compelled to make such a statement, against the higher up in the political executive of the State, under dictates, as part of a larger conspiracy to malign the political leaders of the ruling coalition of the State on political considerations, and to cover up the allegations made by Smt. Swapna earlier that she was being pressurised by ED Officials to give statement against the Honourable Chief Minister".

Assailing the publication of a Section 164 statement in the public domain contrary to settled law, the complaint claims,

"The reasonable presumption that can be drawn from the act of the respondent who is neither a party to the Criminal Miscellaneous Case nor the investigating officer, filing the aforementioned statement, revealing the contents of the alleged 164 statement, in a manner totally unconnected with the lis in the said case is that he is acting under the dictates of the ruling dispensation at the Centre and his attempt is only to convert the Honourable High (Court) into a political arena you (to) please his political masters. It can also be presumed that the very intention of filing such a statement was to bring the contents of the 164 statement to public glare."

In this regard, the complainant alleged that the publication and widespread dissemination of the statement amounted to:

  1. Interference with due course of the judicial proceedings pending in the High Court.
  2. Affecting the administration of justice and lowering the aiuthority of the Honourable High Court and justice dispensation system in the State.
  3. Malicious and improper use of legal proceedings, particularly to further political causes, is an abuse of the process of Court,

The complainant has averred that the statement was filed to bring the contents of the Section 164 statement into the public domain, for extraneous reasons, for the purpose of securing political advantage for a group.

"It can be safely concluded that the real intent of the respondent was to deceive the Honourable Court by disguising the filing of a statement as a means to bring the alleged contents of the purported 164 statement, certainly for extraneous reason, to public arena, which the respondent is not permitted under law".

The Statement presented in Court by Customs on Friday recorded that,

"She has made shocking revelations about the Chief Minister's close connections with the previous Consul General of UAE and the illegal monetary transactions carried out. Her close connection with the Chief Minister and his Principal Secretary and a personal staff was also revealed by the 1st respondent (Swapna Suresh). She has also stated with clarity about smuggling of foreign currency at the instance of the Hon'ble Chief Minister and the Hon'ble Speaker with the help of the Consulate. She has also clearly stated about the improper and illegal activities of 3 Hon'ble Ministers of the State Cabinet and the Hon'ble Speaker. She has further stated about the involvement and the kickbacks received by high-profile persons from various deals."

This statement filed by Customs kicked up a political storm in the poll-bound state. Meanwhile, another statement by a Civil Police Officer surfaced which alleged that ED had coerced Swapna to make the statement.


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