By LE Desk

Kochi, March 29: The registration of an FIR against some unnamed officials of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Kochi, for forcing Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the diplomatic gold smuggling case, to give false statements against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was legally tenable, according to an affidavit filed by the State government in the Kerala High Court.

In the affidavit, the government submitted that the FIR was registered after completing a preliminary inquiry. The investigators recorded the statements of the witnesses, including two women civil police officers who were on escort duty for Swapna Suresh. In fact, there was a prima facie cognizable offence, and therefore, the police were duty-bound to register an FIR and investigate the offence.

The affidavit was filed in response to a petition filed by P. Radhakrishnan, Deputy Director, Enforcement Directorate, Kochi seeking to either quash the case or order a CBI probe into the case, The Hindu reported.

That Swapna had not made any complaint before the sessions court could not be taken as a ground for quashing the FIR, the government said. The question of whether there was coercion from the Central agencies could be revealed only during an investigation. Besides, the ED did not have a case that the audio clip alleged to be that of Swapna leaked on social media was not actually hers. During the preliminary inquiry, the statement of Swapna was taken and she had admitted that the voice in the audio clip belonged to her and this had happened while she was in the custody of the ED.

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