The accused in the given instance where the people who disturbed gold across the state from the prime accused in the Gold Smuggling Case.
The Gold Smuggling case refers to the instance where gold was smuggled to Kerala using the diplomatic channel, thereby misusing the bureaucratic benefits. The prime accused in the gold smuggling case is Swapna Suresh and PR Sarith who are still under the charge of the NIA.
On July 5th 30 kg of 24-carat gold worth ₹14.82 crores was smuggled to Thiruvanthapuram Airport from UAE via the diplomatic channel.
The Court stated that
“we are unable to hold that smuggling of gold simplicitor will fall within Section 15(1)(a) (iiia) of UA(P) Act. In other words, gold smuggling clearly covered by the provisions of the Customs Act will not fall within the definition of the terrorist act in Section 15 of UA(P) Act unless evidence is brought out to show that it is done with the intent to threaten or it is likely to threaten the economic security or monetary stability of India.”
The Division Bench comprising of Justices A Hariprasad and MR Anitha dismissed the pleas that NIA had filed. The Court interpreted Section 15 of the UAPA as such,
“In our view, what is made an offence under Section 15(1)(a) (iiia) of UA(P) Act is causing damage to the monetary stability of India by way of production or smuggling or circulation of high-quality counterfeit Indian paper currency, coin or any other material relatable to currency or coin. “Other material” can be any material connected to counterfeit Indian paper currency or counterfeit Indian coin, like machinery or implements or high-quality paper or any other material which could be used for producing or circulating fake currency or coin. Illegal acts referred to in the above provision certainly will have a direct impact on the economic security of India.” The Court also stated that “we take cognizance of the fact that there can be many other things of enormous value like precious metals and stones that could be smuggled for making an unlawful gain. We do not find any logic to include gold alone along with counterfeit Indian paper currency or coin” while explaining how the conclusion was drawn.
This was considered to be an instance of casus omissus by the Court.
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