Under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA), the Supreme Court today issued a notice on a plea challenging the Kerala High Court order quashing the detention of two detenu.
On the pretext that it had exceeded its jurisdiction under Article 226, bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra was hearing an appeal by the Union of India challenging the High Court.
The detention of the two accused Adnan Khalid and Faisal PA arose from the seizure of contraband from the body of a customs official, Francis CX, while he was trying to smuggle out about 3 kg of gold hidden in between his legs. The three rectangular gold bars wrapped in the black insulation tape were also recovered. The Custom Official, Francis CX made confession of receiving gold from Adnan Khalid.
The statement recorded by Francis and Adnan revealed the ring operating within the airport which involved similar modus operandi in other cases.
Bench comprising Justices Vinod Chandran and VG Arun observed that, the detaining authority had not applied its mind and merely extracted the opinion of the sponsoring authority. Further, the bench observed that in the instant case the very crucial video footage from which the entire case was generated was not supplied to the detenu.
The corroborating facts available from the call details and the travel details were not examined by the detaining authority and authority was merely relied on the opinion of the sponsoring authority. And also the detenu were not supplied with the documents which revealed call details and travel details.
The High Court has directed the release of both the detenu.