Office of Speaker, Kerala, denies role in gold smuggling case

The Office of Kerala Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan dismissed reports published by a section of the media linking him and his office to the case involving gold smuggling diplomatic baggage at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport that is being investigated by multiple Central agencies.

The reports follow K Surendran, President of the Kerala unit of the BJP, made a series of statements on Tuesday allegedly insinuating both Sreeramakrishnan and his office in the case even as the first phase of polls to the State’s local bodies was under way.

This had followed days of frenzied debating by various political parties of “suspect high-profile personalities” being involved in the case after the High Court of Kerala was reportedly “shocked to learn about the names of persons holding even Constitutional office” as revealed to it by the investigating agencies.

On Wednesday, while stating that related reports appearing the media are baseless and false, the office of the Speaker said Sreeramakrishnan himself had earlier clarified about the foreign trips made by him in connection with various programmes, official or otherwise.

Foreign trips

A majority of the trips undertaken by the Speaker were at the invitation of various organisations of the diaspora while he had also undertaken a few foreign trips for personal reasons as his siblings were abroad. But at no time did the Speaker travel with the accused in the gold smuggling case, as is being alleged. All foreign trips were made after taking mandatory permission from the State government and the details of the trips are available on his Facebook page as well. The media should restrain itself from publishing baseless reports based on speculation, said the Office of the Speaker in a statement.

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