“Custodial interrogation of the woman was required to ascertain her role in the case” said NIA to Kerala HC
A FORMER woman employee of the UAE consulate, key suspect in the gold smuggling bid through diplomatic baggage, has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the National Investigation Agency informed Kerala High Court. Making the submission while opposing the anticipatory bail application of Swapna Suresh, who is on the run, the counsels for the Centre and the NIA said she had criminal antecedents and was ‘involved’ in arranging diplomatic papers for the smuggling of the over 30 kg gold seized by the Customs recently in Thiruvananthapuram.
Custodial interrogation of the woman was required to ascertain her role in the smuggling bid through Thiruvananthapuram international airport, they said. The counsel for the NIA, which has been asked by the Centre on Thursday to probe the case, said there was a legal bar on High Court entertaining anticipatory bail applications in cases investigated by the NIA. After hearing the submissions, Justice Ashok Menon declined the prayer of the petitioner seeking interim protection against arrest.
He posted the plea of Suresh to Tuesday after her lawyer made a plea for adjournment, saying the decision to hand over the case to NIA was taken on Thursday evening only after the anticipatory bail petition was filed a day earlier. Justice Menon directed the NIA to provide a copy of the FIR to the accused. Earlier, the Central Government counsel submitted the statements of R Sarith Kumar, also a former employee of the UAE consulate and arrested in connection with the case, and the wife of another absconding accused Sandeep had been recorded.
Youth outfits demand CM’s resignation
July 10 (PTI)
YOUTH outfits of Congress, BJP and IUML clashed with police in many places in Kerala as their state-wide protest marches demanding Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s resignation in the gold smuggling case turned violent on Friday. Over 50 Youth Congress activists marched to Chief Minister Vijayan’s house at Pinarayi in Kannur and tried to climb over the barricades, and police used water cannons to disperse them.