Kerala

NIA court to assess terrorism angle in smuggling case

The NIA Special Court will look into the ‘terrorism angle’ in the gold smuggling case on Monday though the National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case, has invoked the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against the accused.

The agency has invoked Sections 16 and 17 of the UAPA Act, which deals with ‘punishment for terrorist act and raising funds for terrorist act.’ The court will look into the question whether the funds raised through the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case has been used for funding any terrorism act. The special court could exercise its jurisdiction only if there were materials on record to show that a terrorist act had been committed or intended to have committed, judicial sources said.

The relevant offences charged against the accused would hold good only if the accused committed the act ‘with the intent to threaten the economic security of the country.’ In the absence of evidences to prove the intent to threaten the economic security, the case could be considered only as an economic offence and the NIA court may not have jurisdiction to try the case, sources said.

The NIA court posted the application for police custody of the accused for Monday for detailed hearing. The court felt that it ‘has to get satisfied that there are prima facie grounds for believing that accusation is well-founded, and also that the special court has the jurisdiction.’ The NIA was also directed to clarify the materials it had collected so far in the case, according to an order issued by the NIA court on Sunday.

The court also directed the NIA to produce the case diary on Monday to find out whether any material to prove that the accused carried out the smuggling with an intent to threaten the economic security of the country. The court has also asked the investigation agency to produce the COVID-19 results of the two accused in the case.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 1:27:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nia-court-to-assess-terrorism-angle-in-smuggling-case/article32059883.ece

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