Kerala CM's staff hospitalised soon after ED summoning

Kerala CM's staff hospitalised soon after ED summoning for second time

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

A personal staff member of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was hosptialised citing post-COVID ailments, incidentally after ED summoned him for the second time.

The opposition parties had earlier raised doubts even over the Covid infection of the CM's additional private secretary C M Raveendran just ahead of the ED summoning him earlier this month.

However, sources in the Chief Minister's office said that he was having genuine post-Covid ailments and there were no deliberate attempts to evade appearing before ED.

The Chief Minister's former principal secretary M Sivasankar earlier faced allegations of trying to delay arrest by getting hosptialised.

Raveendran was initially summoned by the ED earlier this month. But he was tested Covid positive. Afterwards the ED summoned him again and asked to present on Friday. But he was admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram medical college hospital on Wednesday citing post-Covid ailments.

Raveendran has been a close confident of Vijayan as well as to other CPM leaders over the last many years, and the opposition Congress and BJP have been alleging the ED summons to Raveendran was causing anxious moments to the CM and the CPM leaders. He was learnt to be summoned by ED to seek details regarding various major projects of the government that were directly handled by the CM.

Meanwhile, an additional chief judicial magistrate court for economic offences in Kochi on Wednesday allowed customs to quiz Sivasankar, who is arraigned as 23rd accused, for five days. The court pointed out that from the affidavit filed by customs, it was not clear why the accused allegedly sought Sivasankar's help for clearing the diplomatic baggage containing smuggled gold. The court also asked why the customs did not mentions the official position held by Sivasankar in the affidavit and expressed dissatisfaction over these.

Sivasankar who initially arrested by the ED, was arrested by the Customs also on Tuesday citing that he was directly involved in the gold smuggling involving former employees of UAE consulate in Kerala.