A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed appeals filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the NIA special court orders granting bail to 13 accused in a case registered in connection with the diplomatic channel gold smuggling.
The Bench comprising Justice A. Hariprasad and Justice M.R. Anitha, while dismissing the appeals, endorsed the view of the NIA special court judge that the materials produced before the court were insufficient to hold prima facie that the accused persons had committed a terrorist act as defined under Section 15 of the UA(P) Act. The Bench also agreed with the view of the special court that materials on record prima facie did not indicate that the accused to whom bail had been granted had acted with an intention to damage the economic security of India.
The court also observed that the special court had carefully taken enough precautions to see that the accused persons, to whom bail was granted, were obeying the directions and they did not interfere with the progress of the investigation. Similarly, measures had been taken in the bail order by imposing conditions to secure their presence at the time of trial. Therefore, the court did not find any reason to think that the accused would flee from justice or meddle with the investigation.
The court added that if the investigating agency succeeds in digging out materials to show their complicity in a terrorist act, it could move the court for cancellation of bail.
Meanwhile, the special court of the NIA here recorded the presence of 20 accused. While two accused, Muhammadali Ibrahim and Jifsal, physically appeared before the court, a few accused appeared online and some others through their lawyers. The presence of the accused was recorded as part of the pre-trial measures.
The special court posted the case for March 17.