17 May 2023 4:07 PM GMT
The Enforcement Directorate today told the Supreme Court that M Sivashankar, former principal secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala does not have any serious health conditions, warranting the grant of bail on medical grounds.A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mittal was hearing a petition moved by Sivashankar, seeking bail in a money laundering case in connection with the...
The Enforcement Directorate today told the Supreme Court that M Sivashankar, former principal secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala does not have any serious health conditions, warranting the grant of bail on medical grounds.
A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mittal was hearing a petition moved by Sivashankar, seeking bail in a money laundering case in connection with the LIFE (Livelihood, Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission corruption case. LIFE project is a housing project initiated by the Kerala Government for the homeless.
The SLP filed is challenging the Kerala High Court’s order which had rejected Sivasankar’s bail application earlier.
During the hearing today, the standing counsel for ED submitted that the petitioner had refused to undergo surgery on multiple occasions after re-joining work post his suspension. For more than a year he did not undertake any treatment, the court was told. There are even concurrent findings on facts against him, the advocate said.
Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for Sivasankar, sought permission of the court to move the special court in terms of interim bail on emergency health issues as the Supreme Court would close by the end of this week, as part of the summer break.
"If Your Lordships permit, I may be allowed to go to the Special Court on this aspect as the Supreme Court is closing".
The bench then pondered whether the petitioner had a right to go back to trial court seeking bail.
The Court agreed to this request and said that he could approach the special court for seeking interim bail in case of any kind of medical emergency.
"Since the Respondent did not have sufficient time to file counter, therefore the matter has to necessarily be adjourned to July. The petitioner has moved the Court seeking bail on medical grounds. According to the standing counsel for the Respondent, this aspect has been considered by both the courts below. However, we are of the view that in case of any emergency, it will be open to the petitioner to approach the special court on this aspect in the interim....."
The bench also asked ED to file a counter affidavit in the matter.
Along with Gupta, Advocates Selvin Raju and Manu Srinath appeared for the former principal Secretary.
The money laundering case emanates out of alleged illegal gratification obtained for awarding the contract work for the LIFE Mission's project for building 140 housing units in Thrissur district utilizing the funds donated by UAE Red Crescent, that was meant for the flood victims of Kerala. Sivasankar has been under custody since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on February 14.
The matter will come up next in July.
Case Title: M. Sivasankar v. UoI And Anr | SLP(Crl) No. 5590/2023
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