Kerala HC post bail application plea of gold scam accused to Tuesday

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 10, 2020

Police personnel produce Sarith, accused in gold smuggling case, at a special court in Kochi, on Thursday   -  PTI

The High Court of Kerala has posted for Tuesday the anticipatory bail application of Swapna Suresh, the accused in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

The lawyer representing Swapna Suresh has sought a copy of the First Information Report filed by the National Investigation Agency. The court rescheduled the case, as it needs extensive hearing.

The NIA has opposed the bail application, submitting that the investigations are in the preliminary stage and granting bail to the accused at this stage is not advisable. The agency pointed out that the three accused Swapna, Sandeep and Sarith were involved in gold smuggling and requested the court not to grant anticipatory bail to the accused at this point of time.

Swapna had filed her bail application through online in which she submitted that she was not involved in the gold smuggling. She had only intervened to get the baggage from the airport as per the instructions from the UAE Consulate.

The agency had reportedly filed the FIR in the case at the NIA Special Court on Friday. It is learnt that NIA is planning to invoke UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) against the accused. The accused will be booked under Sec 15,16,17 and 18 of UAPA, which charge offences related to terrorism and aiding terrorists.

NIA, prima facie, noted that organised rackets with international links are behind gold smuggling. They also asserted that the case is related national and economic security of the country.

The accused is still at large though the Customs officials have arrested Sarith.

The gold smuggling case has snowballed into a political controversy with the Opposition parties demanding the resignation of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The opposition parties have taken protest marches in different parts of the State, raising the same demand.

Meanwhile, another writ petition seeking registration of FIR in respect of the gold scam and the Sprinklr, BevQ app and e-mobility issues in which the Chief Minister, his Principal Secretary and others are alleged to be kingpins will be listed for hearing on July 13 before the division bench of the Chief Justice.

Published on July 10, 2020

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