Gold Smuggling Case: Swapna Suresh moves Kerala High Court for anticipatory bail

Swapna Suresh

KERALA: In Swapna Suresh & Anr. v Station House Officer & Anr accused Swapna Suresh and Sarith PS, have approached the Kerala High Court seeking anticipatory bail in a new case registered by the Kerala Police after Suresh’s recent allegations against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

In July 2020, pursuant to an investigation conducted by ED into money laundering, illegal financial transactions, and massive gold smuggling through diplomatic channels, suspected offenders, including Suresh, were arrested and interrogated in Kerala.

After spending over a year in jail, Suresh was released in November 2021 after securing bail. A few days ago, after she recorded a statement in the gold smuggling case before a Magistrate Court, Suresh spoke to the media alleging that the Chief Minister, his wife, and daughter, Member of Legislative Assembly KT Jaleel, and several high ranking officials were involved in anti-social and anti-national activities involving the Consulate where she used to be employed.

She revealed that she had deposed in detail about the same before the Magistrate. Subsequently, it was widely reported that Sarith was kidnapped by four persons. It was later learned that they were police officers of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau who were investigating a different case.

In the bail application moved by Suresh and Sarith through advocates R Krishna Raj, R Pratheesh, ES Soni, Sangeetha S Nair, and Resmi A, it has been stated that the complaint lodged by Jaleel was a false one.

The plea also claimed that the petitioners were falsely implicated in all the cases against them arising out of gold smuggling.

The plea alleged that while they were in jail before securing bail in 2021, they were harassed, threatened, and coerced to keep mum about the supposed involvement of the higher-ups in the government.

After she was unable to take this pressure, Suresh approached the special court for PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) cases seeking to file a statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), the plea said.

He informed that already a case has been registered against the 1st petitioner and if they do not surrender before the Chief Minister by openly stating that she has given the 164 statement at the instigation of the petitioners’ present counsel, the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party. He threatened the petitioners with dire consequences to the effect that they will not see daylight as cases will be registered against them in such a way they will have to remain in jail for long,” the plea said.

Further, it was argued that the ingredients of Section 153 will not be attracted here since the provision clearly says that an act will attract the offense only if it is done with the intent to cause a riot.

Even though the offenses alleged are both bailable, the petitioners stated that their apprehension of arrest is not unfounded prompting them to seek anticipatory bail from the High Court.

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