The Customs Department has issued a notice to Kerala Minister KT Jaleel asking him to appear before it on Monday for questioning. "Minister KT Jaleel has been summoned as a person of interest in connection with all ongoing investigations," sources in the Customs Department told NDTV.
The Customs Department has been probing the case of smuggling at least 30 kg gold, allegedly through diplomatic channels, which was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram airport earlier this year.
Additionally, the department has also filed two other cases for alleged evasion of duty and violations of the Foreign (Contribution) Regulations Act, FCRA, related to consignments of dates and Qurans at the UAE consulate in Thiruvananthapuram.
Mr Jaleel, who was questioned by central probe agencies - the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate - in September, has maintained that he is not an accused in any case.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also denied allegations linking the state government to these cases in any way.
Mr Jaleel's questioning, however, led to demands for his resignation by Opposition parties.
"I am not an accused in any case. I was called by agencies for answering certain questions for clarifications. I have told them everything I knew. Opposition parties' demands for my resignation are only political opportunism. Certain leaders from the United Democratic Front (UDF) had sent petitions to the Prime Minister and other central ministries against me; it is their job to question me," he told NDTV.
In July, call records leaked to the media showed multiple calls exchanged between the minister and one of the gold smuggling case accused - Swapna Suresh, who was granted bail in October.
He had earlier said he was in touch with Swapna Suresh over sponsored food kits for families in need during Ramzan.