The Kerala High Court had granted bail to Swapna Suresh in the UAPA case lodged by the NIA in connection with the sensational gold smuggling through the diplomatic channel on November 2.
New Delhi: Swapna Suresh, the prime accused in the Kerala gold smuggling case, was released from jail today after spending 16 months behind bars.
Kerala High Court had granted her bail on November 2 in the case registered by NIA under UAPA on a Rs 25 Lakhs bail bond and 2 solvent sureties.
The Kerala High Court granted bail to Suresh and 7 others in a UAPA case saying that prima facie it does not find that they committed any terrorist act as alleged against them.
Smuggling of gold cannot be deemed to be a terrorist act
A bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and C Jayachandran said the facts of the case narrated before it and the charges alleged against the accused “do not commend us to find the accused having any connection with any terrorist act” as provided under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The court also said that it does not find that the actions of the accused were a threat to the economic security of the country since there was no counterfeiting of high-quality notes and coins.
The bench also said whatever be the role of the accused, the activity being smuggling of gold, cannot be deemed to be a terrorist act under section 15 of the UAPA.
The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020
On October 22, the Customs submitted a 3,000-page charge sheet after 15 long months and arraigned 29 people as accused in the case.
The smuggling case came to light on July 5, 2020, when the Customs arrested Sarith, a former employee of the UAE Consulate, for allegedly smuggling gold in diplomatic baggage destined for the Consulate.
Swapna Suresh, who was a former employee of the UAE Consulate, and her associate Sandip Nair were arrested by the National Investigation Agency from Bengaluru a few days later.
Top bureaucrat and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan, M. Sivasankar was also arrested and after spending several months in jail, he is out on bail and stands suspended from the service.