Nedumbassery FICN case: Fake note smuggling done before UAPA amendment not 'terrorist act', says Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court has held the production or smuggling of high-quality counterfeit Indian paper currency in India committed prior to the enforcement of the amendment made to Section 15 of the Unla
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has held the production or smuggling of high-quality counterfeit Indian paper currency in India committed prior to the enforcement of the amendment made to Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was not punishable as a 'terrorist act' mentioned under Section 18 of the Act.
A Full Bench of the court passed the order on the petition filed by Abdul Salam alias Podi Salam, the third accused in 2013's Nedumbassery fake Indian currency note (FICN) case Salam submitted the production or smuggling of fake notes to 'damage the monetary stability of India' was made punishable as a 'terrorist act' in the UAP Amendment Act of 2012 and the amendment was enforced on February 1, 2013.
“Since the crime was committed on January 26, 2013, before the amendments were enforced, prosecution under UAPA is illegal,” Salam submitted.
The Full Bench held the amended provisions of the Act could not be applied to deal with and punish import, circulation or smuggling of 'high-quality counterfeit Indian paper currency' prior to their enforcement on February 1, 2013. If the trial court has framed charges against the accused, the court shall alter them appropriately, provided there are no alternative charges under IPC.
The Bench also held on consideration of various relevant aspects, including the social and economic impact of the alleged offence and the wide network and conspiracy behind the deal, the trial court rightly denied bail to the accused.
“But the accused can approach the trial court during the trial. In case a bail plea is made afresh during the trial, the trial court can consider it on merits and take appropriate decisions after due consideration,” the Bench said.