Kerala HC adjourns Swapna Suresh’s pre-arrest bail plea; custodial interrogation needed3 min read

By- Akshay Gurnani

The investigation is at nascent stage and massive recoveries have been made, the CGSC said, adding that some of the source-based information regarding Suresh’s alleged involvement has been corroborated in her bail plea.
The anticipatory bail plea moved by Swapna Suresh who is suspected of having smuggled 30 kg gold into the Thiruvananthapuram airport through diplomatic channels will be heard by the Kerala High Court on July 14, Tuesday.
Whereas the plea came up for admission today before the Bench of Justice Ashok Menon, it was adjourned for further hearing to Tuesday after the Court was informed that Suresh was yet to receive a copy of the FIR registered this morning.
Appearing for Suresh, Advocate Rajesh Kumar urged the Court for relief while submitting that she is unaware of why she has been accused of involvement in the case.
The court was further informed that no FIR copy had been served on Suresh as of yet and further that she became aware of the transfer of the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last night only through media channels.
Central Government Standing Counsel, Ravi Prakash, disputed the maintainability of the pre-arrest bail plea pointing out that if the case is taken up by the NIA and the matter is transferred to a special court, the High Court can no longer entertain the anticipatory bail application.
He further asserted that the custodial interrogation of Suresh is necessary. It was pointed out that source-based info had initially pointed to the involvement of Suresh and two others – Sandeep and Sarith – in the gold smuggling case. Statements given by Sarith and Sandeep’s wife have been taken, the Court was told.
However, the authorities have been unable to serve the summons on Swapna Suresh despite several attempts, Prakash said while arguing that Suresh’s conduct has been suspicious. He pointed out that Suresh has switched off her mobile and is absconding. He also raised concern that there are powerful people involved in the case.
Further, he highlighted that the source-based information regarding Suresh’s alleged involvement has been corroborated to some extent in the anticipatory bail plea moved by her before the Court. It was argued that, by her admission, Suresh was involved in the gold smuggling process, whether she is innocent (of a crime) of not.
The investigation is at a nascent stage and massive recoveries have been made, he said. As such, CGSC Prakash contended that the custodial interrogation of Suresh was necessary.
The FIR in the matter was registered this morning around 9.15 am, he further informed.
The senior public prosecutor appearing for the NIA added that apart from economic offenses, offenses under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for raising funds for terrorist activities through gold smuggling have been registered.
While CGSC Prakash also stated that Suresh does not have a clean record in terms of criminal antecedents, Suresh’s counsel countered that she has been discharged from the referred case.
Further, Advocate Kumar argued for Suresh that all these submissions are being made without serving a copy of the FIR on Suresh. The Court, therefore, adjourned the matter to July 14, Tuesday when it would take up the case for hearing on both maintainability and merits.

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