Kerala High Court Grants Bail To Swapna Suresh In Kerala gold smuggling case

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Bail To Swapna Suresh: The Kerala High Court today granted bail to key accused Swapna Suresh in the Kerala gold smuggling case.

Suresh has been behind the bars since June 2020. She was granted bail in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on a bail bond of ₹25 lakh and two solvent sureties.

She will now be able to walk out of the jail as earlier she had secured bail in cases filed by the customs department and Enforcement Directorate (ED). On Monday, the high court’s division bench of  Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran reserved its judgment in the appeals filed by Suresh and  Sarith PS against the verdict of the special NIA court that had dismissed their bail applications.

Suresh, who was being considered the kingpin in the gold smuggling had named Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan involvement in the case. Five central agencies are probing the smuggling case which had surfaced after 30 kg gold that had reached the UAE consulate in the state  Thiruvanthapuram camouflaged as diplomatic consignment was seized.

During the hearing Suresh’s lawyer had said, “The offence alleged against them was gold smuggling while UAPA predominantly dealt with the offence of counterfeiting high-quality currency. The prosecution case even if proved, only amounts to an offence of smuggling of gold, which will come under the Customs Act and not UAPA. It is only a Customs offence, at the worst. And for the Customs offence, the petitioners have already been granted bail”.

The court also granted bail to seven other accused – Sarith PS, Mohammed Shafi P, Jalal AM, Rabins Hameed, Ramees KT, Sharafudeen KT and Mohammad Ali in the same case.

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