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SC Considers Centre's Appeal in Gold Smuggling Case, Issues Notice to Accused Set Free by Kerala HC

File photo of the Supreme Court of India.

File photo of the Supreme Court of India.

The high court, on February 19, had quashed the preventive detention order of two persons — Adnan Khalid and Faisal PA — under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) for allegedly indulging in gold smuggling.

The Supreme Court Thursday sought responses from two persons, accused of smuggling gold, on an appeal of the Centre against a Kerala High Court decision to quash their preventive detention ordered by authorities under the law on prevention of smuggling. The high court, on February 19, had quashed the preventive detention order of two persons — Adnan Khalid and Faisal PA — under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) for allegedly indulging in gold smuggling.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, in a hearing conducted via video conferencing, issued notices to them and allowed the Centre to file additional documents if any against the accused in the case. While setting them free, the high court had rapped the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the COFEPOSA Advisory Board for putting the accused under preventive detention. We cannot but observe about the casual manner in which detention orders are passed, without a grasp of the relevant law on the subject. Technicalities in procedure abound, in the consideration of continuance of a preventive detention. The consideration is surely not proof beyond reasonable doubt or even preponderance of probabilities. Strict adherence, hence is called for and we find very many of the detaining authorities not being properly educated on the law regarding the subjective satisfaction to be entered in ordering preventive detention., the high court had observed.

The Centre appealed against the order saying that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction by substituting the subjective satisfaction of the Detaining Authority with its own wisdom. Khalid and Faisal were held for alleged gold smuggling. They were detained after the alleged seizure of the smuggled goods from Khalid. Khalid was accused of smuggling 3 kilograms of gold hidden between his legs.

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