Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 19 (ANI): The Kerala High Court on Thursday said 12 accused who got bail from the Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in the gold smuggling case have not committed any "terrorist" act.
The high court's observation came while it was hearing a petition filed by the NIA challenging the bail granted by the Special NIA Court to 12 accused persons.
During the hearing of the plea, the Bench of Justices A Hariprasad and MR Anitha said: "Materials placed before the trial court for considering the bail plea are insufficient to hold prima facie that those released accused were involved in any terrorist act as defined under section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Smuggling is not defined under the UAPA. The argument raised by the NIA cannot be accepted."
The high court also declined the appeal filed by Muhammad Shafi P, the seventh accused in the case against the order of the Special NIA Court which rejected his bail petition.
"The 7th accused played a pivotal role in the alleged conspiracy. Various accused persons obtained smuggled gold through him. Allegations against him are certainly graver than those against the accused who were enlarged on bail," it said.
The Kerala gold smuggling case pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels. It had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crores smuggled in a consignment camouflaged as diplomatic baggage was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5, 2020.
It is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), NIA and Customs department. (ANI)