[Kerala Gold Smuggling case] Kerala High Court will shortly begin hearing M. Sivasankar's bail application.

Sivasankar is presently in the custody of the ED.

ASG SV Raju is expected to make submissions on behalf of the ED today.

Read an account of the previous hearing here:

Lower court order denying bail was well-reasoned: ASG SV Raju

He also argues that the twin conditions in Section 45 of the PMLA continue to hold good law.
ASG SV Raju reads from the lower court judgment.

He says that offence of money-laundering is an independent offence that can be prosecuted under PMLA.

Sr Adv Jaideep Gupta had questioned the fact that the ED's predicate offences kept shifting.
ASG Raju is taking the Court through provisions of the PMLA
ASG Raju emphasizes that FIR need not be filed for predicate offence for investigation for money-laundering to commence.

The situation was different before the amendment in 2019.

He then reads from the lower court judgment
He now argues from facts. He adverts to the joint locker operated by Swapna and Sivasankar as well as a separate locker she held with Sivasankar's Chartered Accountant.

Swapna was not a person of means, she could not have Rs 64 Lakh and gold sovereigns with her: Raju
Sivasankar had asked for updates on the locker this hsowed he had an interest in the money: Raju

Even assuming money in locker was hers, Sivasankar's activities comes squarely within the definition of concealment under PMLA: Raju
She has admitted that Sivasankar was aware of the gold smuggling: Raju

This is testimony of a co-conspirator: Raju
Sivasankar's Counsel had earlier objected to material being produced in court in sealed covers

ASG Raju states that accused can be given access to material only after probe is complete. Refers to Chidambaram v. ED.

Read : indiankanoon.org/doc/42679608/
ASG Raju now moves to contention that Sivasankar telephoned Customs officials on her behalf to clear smuggled gold through customs checks.
They said we have no material, these days no one makes a telephone call. We make WhatsApp calls, which is encrypted. Difficult to get records of these, but cannot say we have no material. The investigation is still going on: Raju
Swapna admitted that she didnt mention Sivasankar's name initially because he was influential: Raju
ASG for ED moves to submissions based on kickbacks from the LIFE Mission project

We filed a supplementary chargesheet based on this.

Kickbacks could be offences under Prevention of Corruption Act, scheduled under PMLA

ED empowered to investigate & investigation ongoing: Raju
ASG Raju refers certain sealed cover statements that pointed to Sivasankar's knowledge of the various activities.
ASG refers judgments.

This is not a simple case, he has influence, power, wherewithal to tamper evidence, influence witnesses. I pray that bail not be granted: ASG Raju
Sr Adv Jaideep Gupta begins rejoinder
There has to be an accusation that x is a predicate offence, these are the proceeds of crime, and so-and-so dealt with it: Gupta

You cannot say that someone could have committed a predicate offence for which you want to launch investigate
There cannot be a roving inquiry: Gupta
The investigating officer should specify what offence is being investigate for a court to take a view on it: Gupta

Until and unless you say that the proceeds are proceeds of a particular crime, ED cannot investigate: Gupta
Sr Adv Gupta refers whatsapp texts referenced by ED

My learned friend is adding words to the messages!!: Gupta
My learned friend is saying that the materials may be obtained at a later state in the investigation: Gupta

Should he remain in jail forever?, he adds

Bail application has to be decided on material available: Gupta
After one of ASG Raju's associates seek to submit written submissions, hearing ends.

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