Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo)
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (File photo)

'Norms of fairness, propriety being violated': Vijayan seeks PM Modi's intervention into gold smuggling probe

ANI | Updated: Dec 18, 2020 03:35 IST

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], December 18 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention into the investigation of the gold smuggling case alleging that "all norms of fairness and propriety are being violated by the central agencies" probing the matter.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Vijayan stated that "orchestrated campaigns" to defame the political leadership of the government of Kerala are being carried out in a consistent manner seemingly with the cooperation of certain officials of the investigating agencies.
"The state government wanted the investigations to unravel the chain of events starting from the source of the gold smuggling to its end use... The CBI displayed undue haste in implicating LIFE Mission for alleged violation of the FCRA, 2010... The ED while probing this case has crossed all limits and has issued summons to CEO, LIFE Mission for producing all records relating to all projects of LIFE Mission," read the letter.

"From the facts and circumstances, it is clear that the Central agencies are conducting fishing and roving enquiries to find out whether there is any chance to allege any offence in a situation where the agencies have not been able to find anything against the State government. All norms of fairness and propriety are being violated," it said.
The Chief Minister said that inquiries should not become "roving and fishing expeditions" leading to a total loss of credibility of central investigating agencies and added that this will only hamper development activities of the state government.
"This is a serious governance issue and does not augur well in a democratic and federal polity. I am bringing these facts to your kind attention for your intervention so that coercive steps are taken at this juncture," he stated.
The case, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, CBI, National Investigation Agency and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.
The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores, smuggled in a diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5 this year. (ANI)