Gold smuggling: Swapna’s bail plea to be heard today

The bail plea of nine accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, including that of Swapna Suresh, will be heard on Wednesday.

The National Investigation Agency Special Court, which considered the case on Tuesday, postponed it to Wednesday on a request from the NIA, which is probing the case.

The agency sought the adjournment of the case for a day for the Additional Solicitor General to argue the case. The Special Court will consider the case on Wednesday afternoon. The Special Court had earlier granted bail for 12 accused in the case and the Kerala High Court had ratified it.

The bail application of Swapna, who has been charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), was filed much before the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court upholding the bail given to the other accused in the case.

While upholding the bail granted by the trial court, the Division Bench held that the smuggling of gold allegedly carried out by the accused “will not fall within the definition of terrorist act in Section 15 of the UAPA unless evidence is brought out to show that it is done with the intent to threaten or it is likely to threaten the economic security or monetary stability of India.”

The court also went on to state that the gold smuggling activities were clearly covered by the provisions of the Customs Act. The Bench noted that gold smuggling carried out with a mere motive of illegal profit will not fall within the ambit of the terrorist act.

Swapna has been in jail for almost eight months. Even if granted bail in the UAPA case, she may not be able to walk free as she is being detained under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act. The writ petition against her incarceration under the COFEPOSA Act will be filed shortly, said her counsel.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:27:34 AM |

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