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Karipur gold smuggling case: Kerala High Court grants bail to Arjun Ayanki

Justice Shircy V observed that considering the period of detention undergone by him in judicial custody as well the fact that the investigating agency could not complete the investigation of the case till date, the accused was entitled to bail

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Arjun Ayanki, the second accused in the Karipur gold smuggling case, on stringent conditions.

Justice Shircy V., while granting him bail, observed that though the complicity of this petitioner in the alleged crime was prima facie revealed from the materials so far collected by the investigating agency, considering the period of detention undergone by him in judicial custody as well the fact that the investigating agency could not complete the investigation of the case till date, he was entitled to bail.

The Customs Officials had arrested Arjun Ayanki on June 28, following the seizure of gold from a Malappuram native named Mohammed Shafeeque Melethil at the Karipur airport. The Customs contended that the Arjun Ayanki had links with Mohammed Shafeeque.

Opposing the bail petition, the Customs submitted that the petitioner was actively involved not only in the smuggling of gold but also in snatching away gold from the passengers who act as carriers, on their arrival in various Airports.

He was an influential person indulging in criminal activities, causing a threat to the economic security of the nation. Since the investigating agency required more time to unearth the details involved in the case, it could not submit the final report after completion of the investigation, it submitted.

Bail conditions

The court ordered the release of the petitioner on his executing a bond for ₹5 lakh with two solvent sureties before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) Court in Kochi. The court made it clear that one of the sureties should be his close relative.

The other bail conditions are that he shall not enter Kannur district for three months or till filing of the final report, whichever is earlier, and that he shall not leave the State without the prior permission of the magistrate court.

The court also directed the petitioner to appear before the investigating officer on the first and last Mondays of every month between 11 a.m and 12 noon, till the filing of the charge-sheet. He had also been asked to surrender his passport before the magistrate court.

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