Kochi: ED serves 3rd notice to Kerala CM’s aide Ravindran for Dec 10. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday served yet another notice to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s close aide CM Ravindran to appear for questioning in the gold smuggling case on December 10. It is the third ED notice to him.ED serves 3rd notice to Kerala CM’s aide Ravindran for Dec 10. A day after he was served the first notice by the central agency, he had tested coronavirus positive. After his isolation period ended, a second notice was issued to him on November 25, but he was hospitalized within hours after he complained of breathing problems. Since then, he has been discharged.
The first notice was served in early November after the gold smuggling case prime accused Swapna Suresh’s alleged links with Ravindran surfaced.
The third notice comes close on the heels of the ED request to the Kerala Registration Department to give it a list of properties owned by Ravindran.
Posted as an Assistant Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, Ravindran is a CPI-M nominee. Even Vijayan has acknowledged that Ravindran is known to him for the past several years.
He was reportedly posted in the CMO by bypassing rules with regard to educational qualification and age.
A native of Kozhikode district, Ravindran has been a vital cog between the party and the top leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and was on the personal staff of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in 2006-11, when he was the Home Minister in the VS Achuthanandan government.
When Vijayan took over as Chief Minister in 2016, Ravindran wielded major clout, and his alleged closeness with since-arrested senior IAS officer M Sivasankar was often talked about.
Incidentally soon after Ravindran failed to appear before the ED, the agency started a probe into Ravindran’s various business ventures, based on a few complaints which it had received.
The ED officials went around two dozen business establishments of various sizes in Kozhikode and Kannur district and are understood to have got certain clues.