Rahila, one of the key accused in the Karipur gold smuggling case, gave an oral complaint to the Ernakulam Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offence) that the officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence(DRI) had forced her to give statements against the other accused in the case. Rahila also filed a petition seeking cancellation of the statement given by her to the DRI and sought the magistrate to record a fresh statement.
Rahila was produced before the court after it issued a production warrant considering the petition for custody filed by the DRI.
While considering the petitions, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate N V Raju asked her only to speak about her complaints rather than facts of the case.
Following this Rahila was permitted to speak to her counsel. Later, she gave an oral complaint in the open court that she was mentally, morally and physically tortured by five DRI officials after being taken into the custody from Karipur Airport on November 8.
She named senior intelligence officer T Prasad and the director of the DRI among those who had tortured her.
“I was suffering from low blood pressure and sugar. The officials did not give anything to eat for an entire day. They tied my hands using a belt and took photographs,” she said.
“I was put in isolation at the DRI office for an entire day. In the night when I asked for my medicines, they gave me sedation tablet ‘Nitrazepam’.
“Under sedation, they made me to write the statement. When I told them that I am not able to write, they said that it was just to keep as a record and had no connection with the investigation and case. They made me write the same statement three to five times,” she added.
“They told me to write against Shabas, Abdul Layis, and Nabeel who are my friends and associates in Dubai. I refused to write the name of Faizal, whom I don’t know,” Rahila said.
“They threaten me that if I didn’t write the names of Shabas, Abdul Layis, and Nabeel they would charge COFEPOSA against me and detain me for one year. They did not let me read the statement and the documents seized from us were not included in the ‘Mahazar’,” she submitted before the court.
The court after recording the complaint of the accused forwarded it to the Judicial First Class Magistrate which has the jurisdiction over the case to take necessary action. Counsel for the accused submitted that only 3 kg of gold was seized from the accused and offence committed is bailable as per the Customs Act.
However, DRI Special Prosecutor C P Udayabhanu said that Rahila has confessed that she had smuggled 24 kg of gold from Dubai on several occasions. Defence counsel also submitted that the DRI custody of the accused should not be granted as she has raised complaint against the investigation officer. However, the court did not take this submission into consideration and sent the accused in DRI custody for two days. Counsel for the accused was permitted to meet her at the DRI office.