Kerala High Court dismisses bail pleas of Sri Lankan fishers

They were arrested by the Indian Coast Guard on charge of carrying narcotic drugs

September 28, 2022 10:11 pm | Updated 10:11 pm IST - KOCHI

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail pleas of six Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by the Indian Coast Guard on the charge of carrying narcotic drugs.

The prosecution case is that on March 07, 2021, the Indian Coast Guard ship, ICGS Varaha, had intercepted a fishing boat named Akarsha Duwa with six Sri Lankan nationals on board, and they were handed over to the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB), Cochin Sub Zone, at Vizhinjam the next day.

The court also directed the trial court to complete the trial in three months. Dimissing the bail pleas, the court found considerable force in the argument of the Special Public Prosecutor that the petitioners being nationals of Sri Lanka there was every chance of their absconding, and that their presence could not be secured at the time of the trial.

The prosecution had submitted that a perusal of the route of the seized boat would prove that a fishing boat of Sri Lankan origin had travelled through the international sea route till it was intercepted near Minicoy Island, and that such routing had caused suspicion. The petitioners were part of an International drug cartel dealing in bulk quantities of contraband and drugs.

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