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January 20, 2021
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ED summons Kerala CM’s additional private secretary, Kerala withdraws general consent given to CBI

ED summons Kerala CM’s additional private secretary

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to CM Ravindran, Additional Private Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in an investigation into the money laundering case involving gold smuggling.

In the notice issued by the ED, the officials have asked Mr Raveendran to appear in the Kochi office on Friday.

This notice was issued on Thursday regarding the transfer of funds related to the Income Tax Department.

Earlier, the ED arrested M Shivshankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, in connection with the case.

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday conducted raids at various locations, including the residence at Thiruvananthapuram, of the son of Kerala CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyari Balakrishnan. Balakrishnan also lives with the son in the same residence, but he was not present here during the raid. The raid was carried out after an important clue found in the interrogation of Binesh arrested in the Money Landing case. The ED has been questioning Binesh since October 29.

Earlier Kerala on Wednesday joined the list of non-BJP ruled states of West Bengal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to withdraw their general consent given to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This decision, which had been on the table for a long time, was finalized in the cabinet meeting. From now on, the investigating agency will have to seek prior permission from the state government before registering a case in the state.

Recently, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Maharashtra decided to block CBI in statistics. A day after the decision was announced by the CBI to investigate the TRP scam in Maharashtra, the decision created a ruckus. The state government is at a turning point where it is fighting several wars against the Center. Therefore, blocking the CBI in the state was seen as a drool against the Center which raised doubts over the Mumbai Police investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

The CBI comes under the DSPE Act and requires states to give general consent against central government employees to act as a public order within the state and the police are subjected to state governments, which routinely allow this Renews.

In late 2018, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh withdrew consensus for an investigation from the CBI, alleging that the Center was misusing the agency to harass opponents. However, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government, which came to power in Andhra 2019, overturned the decision.

The Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh withdrew its consensus for the CBI in January 2019. And in July 2020, the government led by Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan went on trial. The Kerala government and the CBI are in trouble due to subsequent investigations into the Life Mission, a state housing project for the homeless. The CBI was investigating alleged irregularities in the project. In October, the Kerala High Court stayed the CBI probe considering the petition of the state government.

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