Rajnath Singh hits out at Kerala government

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh
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Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh (File/Photo)

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Judicial probe against Central agencies ‘unfortunate’

Thiruvananthapuram: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday hit out at the Kerala government for issuing an order to conduct a judicial inquiry against the Central agencies probing the gold smuggling and dollar smuggling cases in the State.

During a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram, Rajnath Singh said, "I came to know that the case is being probed by the ED and then a judicial commission has been appointed against the Central agency. It's very unfortunate."

The senior BJP leader added, "This means the State government is challenging the federal structure of the Constitution. This is 100 per cent against the constitution."

Rajnath Singh's comments came two days after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan-led Cabinet recommended a judicial probe against Central investigation agencies subject to approval from the Election Commission, following an ongoing probe into several cases, including the Kerala gold smuggling case.

The Cabinet has appointed retired judge KV Mohanan as the Commissioner who will consider the controversial audio recording of Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the gold smuggling case, and a letter written by co-accused PS Sarith.

This is to be noted that the Kerala gold smuggling case, which is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA,) along with the Enforcement Directorate and the customs department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the State through diplomatic channels.

It came to light after 30-kilogram gold worth Rs 14.82 crore, smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage, was busted by customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.

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