KOCHI: On Thursday, April 13, the Kerala High Court rejected the bail plea made in the Life Mission case by former Principal Secretary M. Sivasankar.
The now-retired top IAS officer Sivasankar served as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's principal secretary from 2016 to 21.
On January 31, Sivasankar announced his retirement from the company. Shortly after, he received a summons to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in a bribery case involving the Life Mission initiative. Following a few days of questioning, he was taken into custody on February 15. Since then, he has been attempting to post bail but has failed each time.
The dispute relates to a housing project for the underprivileged being constructed at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur on public land with funding from a UAE-based nonprofit foundation. A sizable sum of money is said to have been offered as a bribe. Swapna Suresh, the main suspect in both the gold smuggling case and this case, made the accusations.
The bail plea was vehemently rejected by the ED. The agency said in court that because he is the kingpin in this case, bail shouldn't be granted because he is likely to influence others.
But Sivasankar made it clear that he has major medical problems and requires professional care. The emergency department responded by saying that everything was set up and they were prepared to admit him for surgery, but he wasn't willing.
In this case, the ED also questioned C.M. Raveendran, the assistant private secretary and closest aide to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, as well as U.V. Jose, another former IAS official who was the then CEO of Life Mission.