Gold smuggling case: Customs grill Kerala Speaker’s personal staff

P. Sreeramakrishnan’s assistant private secretary K. Ayyappan was earlier served notice to appear before the Customs officials

Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate started questioning K. Ayyappan, assistant private secretary to Kerala Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan, in connection with its probe into the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case here on Friday morning.

Also read: House to focus on notice for removal of Speaker

Mr. Ayappan reached the office of the Customs department here around 10 a.m. The interrogation of the Speaker’s personal staff member had provided ammunition to the Opposition as the 22nd session of the 14th Legislative Assembly began on Friday morning.

Also read: NIA charge sheet against 20 in gold smuggling case

S. V Unnikrishnan Nair, Secretary of Legislature Secretariat, had informed the Customs that the agency needed Speaker’s permission to question his personal staff member. Mr. Ayyappan had failed to turn up before the Customs twice while saying initially that he had not received a notice from the Customs. In the second instance, he claimed to be busy with the preparatory works for the Assembly session.

Mr. Sreeramakrishnan had pointed out that a legal process, civil or criminal, cannot be served within the precincts of the Assembly without obtaining the Speaker’s permission. The Customs had responded by stating that the rules were incorporated to protect the majesty of the legislature and not shield the guilty or to cover up information being revealed to a competent legal authority.

Source: Read Full Article