The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim medical bail to M Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in connection with the money laundering charges filed against him in the LIFE Mission case. [M Sivasankar v Union of India].A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh granted the bail for two months. The Court also ordered Sivasankar not to visit any other place apart from his home and the hospital where he will be undergoing surgery and treatment for a spine ailment during his bail period."In a matter of the present nature where post-operative treatment will also be required, the applicant may be released on bail for medical treatment, for a period of two months. Appellant is not to misuse liberty or influence any witnesses," the Court ordered..Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today, opposed his release on bail and pressed for judicial custody in the hospital considering Sivasankar's political clout."There is a bad tendency these days of interim medical bail becoming permanent," the SG added.The bench, however, proceeded to grant the interim bail given the long period of incarceration undergone by him and the fact that he has to undergo surgery..The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal challenging an order passed by the Kerala High Court last April rejecting Sivasankar's bail plea. The High Court had said that the former Principal Secretary continued to hold influence over the State government and the Chief Minister.High Court judge, Justice A Badharudeen had noted that even though Sivasankar may not be a flight risk, he has the power to tamper with evidence and/or influence witnesses.The High Court also observed that after Sivasankar was previously granted bail in the 2020 gold smuggling case, he was quickly reinstated to his previous post. .M Sivasankar was arrested by the ED in connection with the 2020 LIFE Mission Case.The LIFE (Livelihood, Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission is a housing security scheme of the Kerala government that aimed to provide houses to all the landless and homeless residents of the State.The case involved one specific project under this scheme which is alleged to have been funded by a foreign entity in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).The ECIR (Enforcement Case Information Report) against Sivasankar said that several persons, among whom are government officials including him, received pecuniary advantages and illegal gratification out of the funds received from UAE Red Crescent meant for flood victims in Kerala through the LIFE Mission project.The predicate offences, as stated in the arrest order, are a first information report (FIR) registered by the Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) under the Prevention of Corruption Act and another FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for offences under the FCRA.