16 July 2021 2:38 PM GMT
The National Investigation Agency submitted to the Kerala High Court on Friday that Swapna Suresh and others committed an act of terrorism by smuggling 167 kg of gold into India from UAE since they were aware that by doing so, they could potentially threaten the security and economic stability of the country.A Division Bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman...
The National Investigation Agency submitted to the Kerala High Court on Friday that Swapna Suresh and others committed an act of terrorism by smuggling 167 kg of gold into India from UAE since they were aware that by doing so, they could potentially threaten the security and economic stability of the country.
A Division Bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman A.A. adjourned the matter to 29th July with the other connected matters for further consideration. The Court is awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in NIA's appeal to decide the matter accordingly.
Petitioner Swapna Suresh had earlier moved the Court seeking bail in the gold smuggling case. Advocate Sooraj T Elenjickal represented the petitioner before the Court today and submitted that she has been in custody for more than a year, praying that it may be heard positively on the 29th.
The NIA while opposing the plea argued that the petitioner was well aware that her actions would damage India's International relations with UAE. They conspired together, recruited people, formed a terrorist group, raised funds, and smuggled around 167 kg of gold from UAE between November 2019 to June 2020 through import cargo addressed to the diplomats at the Consulate General of UAE at Thiruvananthapuram.
Therefore, the agency contended that she was guilty of offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for terrorist acts, conspiracy, and being a part of a terror organisation. It vehemently objected to her release on the ground that she had connections with influential people both within the country as well as abroad, which will be used to abscond from the process of law.
"A thorough investigation conducted by the NIA has established that the prime accused Sarith, co-accused Swapna Suresh and other accused, with the knowledge that their act of smuggling of gold into India in large quantity would threaten the security and economic security of the country, destabilize the Indian economy and damage the friendly relations with UAE, conjointly committed a terrorist act."
In her application, the petitioner contended that the case registered against her will not stand the test of law. It was further submitted that the trial was being delayed endlessly and that she was falsely implicated in the matter.
The NIA had previously approached the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to some of the accused in the gold smuggling case by the trial court and the High Court. They asserted that the release of the accused on bail would seriously hamper the ongoing investigation, by tampering with the evidence and influencing the witnesses.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court is examining the issue whether gold smuggling simplictor amounts to 'terrorist act' as defined under the UAPA.
Case Title: Swapna Prabha Suresh v. Union of India