As elections in Kerala are fast approaching, a purportedly leaked letter by Sandeep Nair, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling scam to a district judge has become a talking point in the state.
As for the ruling Left, the timing of it came as a lease of life, as for months together the party and its machinery have been trying to confront the various allegations thrown at it, often forcings itself to brush off allegation as a political vendetta by the centre.
A week before the leak, the Customs affidavit submitted in the Kerala High Court had put the government in an embarrassing situation as it revealed the content of confession made by Swapna Suresh, the other co-accused in the case.
It had revealed that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was allegedly in cahoots with the accused and was also alleged to be part of an illegal financial transaction and that three of his cabinet ministers were also part of it. It also said all activities were done at the instance of the chief minister.
In contrast, the letter by Nair revealed that he was pressurised by the Enforcement Directorate DySP to name CM and his cabinet associates as well as the son of a prominent politician. All this for securing an easy bail was the offer, as per the letter.
Interestingly, Few days before this leak, a woman Kerala police officer had also come out as a witness alleging ED official did try to force out a confession out of Suresh as well. Following these two incidents, the Kerala government, as a counter-attack against the probe agencies, has sought a legal route to file a case against ED
A top source in the probe agency questioned the content of the letter and alleged its the CPM leaders who are creating situations to gain political advantage.
"Sandeep Nair was produced before the court during the ED custody three times. All these times, the court asked him whether he had any complaint against the officers of ED. At that time, he said that he has no complaint," said the official who wanted to remain anonymous.
The official also questioned why these allegations were not raised before the NIA judge while giving his section 164 statement to NIA, the consent to which he had given in September last year.
The official also told Republic that ED never went in the direction of finding the proximity of Nair to the chief minister or any member of the state cabinet. No documents submitted in the court mentions these. "This is a clear indication of the state level conspiracy against the ongoing investigation," said the official who also feared the moral of those who investigate high profile cases will go down.
Meanwhile, The court has directed the investigating officials to file a report on the allegations levelled by Sandeep Nair and the police personnel against the ED by March 26. The ED is gearing up to take on the charges levelled against it. The Intelligence Bureau has been requested to find more details of the police personnel who gave statement and file a report to check if it would tantamount to bringing disrepute to the probe agency or scuttle investigation with baseless allegation.