M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, has been granted bail in the US Dollar smuggling case.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court has on Wednesday, granted bail to Sivasankar in the case booked by the Enforcement Directorate, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
“There is no doubt about the complicity of the applicant and there are no reasonable grounds to believe that he is not guilty. However, it should also be considered whether there is a likelihood of the applicant committing any offense while on bail. I am afraid that the prosecution has not been able to establish this fact. Going by the allegations made by the ED, the applicant was indulged in the laundering of 64 lakhs which was seized from the SBI locker,” read the court order.
“There is no indication that the applicant had anything to do with the locker belonging to A2 in Federal Bank. Thus, the proviso to Section 45 (1) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act would operate in view of the fact that the money allegedly laundered is less than rupees one crore. The fact that the applicant is suffering from various illness would also come to his benefit as the proviso to Section 45 exempts a sick person from the rigors of the Section,” added the court.
According to the bail condition, Sivasankar has been directed to pay Rs 2 Lakh bond and produce surety of 2 persons. Further, he has to appear before the customs office on all Mondays.
Earlier on January 25, the Kerala High Court granted bail to Sivasankar in the money laundering case registered by Enforcement Directorate in relation to the gold smuggling case.
Sivasankar has been incarcerated for over 90 days.