November 6, 2020 2:15:52 am
At a time when the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is pursuing multiple cases in Kerala, the state commission for protection of child rights and an Assembly committee for privileges have moved against the central agency in separate matters.
On Thursday, the Assembly committee for privileges and ethics sought an explanation from the ED following a breach of privilege notice by CPM legislator James Mathew against ED assistant director P Radhakrishnan, who is probing the gold smuggling case and related money laundering cases.
The ED’s move to seek details of the Life Mission project at Vadakkanchery amounted to insult of the Assembly and infringed upon its privileges, said the complaint, which the Speaker handed over to the Assembly committee.
A senior legislator in the Privileges and Ethics Committee said no Assembly panel has moved against a central agency in the recent past.
In a separate matter, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights stepped in when a team of ED officials from Bengaluru raided the residence of Bineesh Kodiyeri, son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.
Bineesh has been arrested in a case pertaining to the alleged financing of a drug mafia and related money laundering.
As the ED raid continued for more than 24 hours, Bineesh’s family complained to the commission that his minor daughter was put under house arrest by the officials. Following the complaint, the commission’s chairman K V Manoj Kumar rushed to Bineesh’s residence, but the CRPF personnel accompanying the ED team prevented him from entering.
Kumar, a CPM nominee, said the commission has registered a case against the ED on charges of harassing the child and denying her food. The commission directed the police to register a case against the ED based on a complaint from the in-laws of Bineesh, who is in ED custody in Bengaluru.
When the ED officials were returning from Bineesh’s residence, a team of state police intercepted them and sought details. However, police later withdrew from the issue. A senior police officer said, “ED has acted as per the law and there are no violations of any sort, demanding further action. They would also give a list of officials involved in the raid.’’
The Congress and BJP have said the police interference in the ED’s action was a challenge to the legal system. BJP state president K Surendran said the Kerala government is using every machinery to create hurdles for central agencies.
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