The Ernakulam Principal and Sessions Court on Wednesday granted bail to two women accused in the Nedumbassery gold-smuggling case.
Arifa Harris, 27, and Asifa Veera Poyil, 18, were granted bail in the case being investigated by the Customs Department after the court found that further detention of the accused was not required.
According to P Ubaid, Ernakulam Principal and Sessions Court judge, the two accused were sufficiently interrogated in custody and there was no necessity of detaining them in custody for the purpose of investigation.
“It would be unjust and inappropriate to detain them in custody till other accused are identified. However, the bail granted by the court will not go in the benefit of other accused, including Arifa’s husband, who is one of the key accused in the case. The investigation officer has already collected whatever material evidence was available from the two accused and thorough interrogation has been conducted. Passports of the accused have already been seized and in such circumstances they cannot leave India or abscond from legal procedures,” he said.
The court ordered that both accused can be released on bail after executing bond of `25,000 each with two sureties to the satisfaction of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences).
One of the sureties must be a relative of the accused.
The accused cannot leave the state till the investigation is completed and final report is submitted. Both of them shall not enter premises of any international airports in Kerala.
The court observed that it does not have any definite and satisfactory material to substantiate allegations of illicit import of gold on previous occasions, except the statement given by the accused to the investigation officer.
“It appears that the Customs Department is also admitting that these two women brought gold to Kerala not on their own, but only as carrier for the other accused. One accused is pregnant and cannot be detained indefinitely in custody and other accused has a three-and-half-year-old child. These can be considered as the circumstances, along with others, for granting bail,” the court observed.
Arifa and Asifa were earlier granted bail from the CBI Special Court in the CBI case on the incident.
Both the accused, after executing the bond, would be released from jail on Thursday.