Kerala HC upholds preventive detention of gold smuggling case accused

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The Kerala High Court on Tuesday upheld the preventive detention, under the COFEPOSA (Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act), of one of the accused in the sensational gold smuggling case.

A bench of A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Mohammed Nias C P dismissed the petition, moved by the wife of accused Rabins Hameed, challenging the detention order and said it was legal.

The court said the order was passed “with due application of mind and after arriving at the requisite subjective satisfaction based on the sufficient materials, facts and circumstances of the case”.

It also said that it found “considerable force” in the Customs argument that Rabins role as a financier as well as his antecedents point to “a propensity to continue the smuggling activities in future as well” and the only effective way to prevent him from doing so was by detaining him.

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He was in UAE and was extradited and arrested on October 26 last year by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

His wife, Fousia Rabins, in her plea had contended that the detention order was passed in violation of the Constitutional mandates under Article 22 and the provisions of the COFEPOSA Act.

Her petition had claimed that the relevant documents relied upon in the detention order were not supplied, their representation of June 10 was not considered, there has been undue delay in passing the detention order and there was no application of mind by the detaining authority regarding the potentiality of the detenu to engage in prejudicial activities in future.

The Customs opposed the contentions saying the relevant documents were provided and that there was due application of mind by the detaining authority.

The high court on October 8 had set aside the preventive detention imposed on Swapna Suresh under COFEPOSA.

It, however, said that in the instant case, the circumstances were different and therefore, he was not entitled to the same relief.

The NIA, ED and the Customs conducted separate investigations into the racket that was busted with the seizure of gold worth Rs 15 crore from the diplomatic baggage of the UAE Consulate at Thiruvananthapuram airport on July 5, 2020.

Several people including Sivasankar, the former Principal Secretary to the Kerala Chief Minister, former employees of the UAE consulate, Swapna Suresh and Sarith P S, were arrested in connection with the case.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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