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Can the smuggling of gold be classified as “terrorist activity”? India News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court agreed to examine the question of whether the crime of gold smuggling can be classified as “terrorist activity” under the provisions of the Illicit Activity (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
A court of judges RF Nariman and BR Gavai issued a notice to the Center and the National Investigative Agency (NIA) about a statement against an order from the Rajasthan high court, which had refused to annul the FIR registered by the investigative agency. under the UAPA offenses.
“Issue notice,” the bank said in its order approved Monday.
The petitioner, Mohammad Aslam, who was caught smuggling more than 1.5 kg of gold at Jaipur International Airport, has requested the stay of the arrest, investigation and proceedings in the FIR filed by the NIA in accordance with the provisions of the UAPA.
The statement filed by attorney Aditya Jain said that after the case was transferred to the NIA, he filed an FIR arguing that Aslam’s smuggling of the gold was done with the intention of threatening economic security and damaging the monetary stability of India.
Aslam argued that the second FIR filed by NIA after the first filed by customs officials, was arbitrary and no prima facie case of economic terrorism was brought against him as alleged.
“The petitioner was not found to be related to any terrorist or extremist group and his background was not suspicious at all,” his statement said.
Aslam claimed that he had been working as a contract worker in Saudi Arabia since May 2018, but during the coronavirus outbreak, he had lost his job.
“During this time of distress, a person named Lal Mohammad contacted the current petitioner and influenced him to deliver a quantity of gold to an unknown person in Jaipur and instead promised to book a ticket back to Jaipur and offered Rs. 10,000. Since the present petitioner was unemployed and desperate for money, he fell into the trap of Lal Mohammad and accepted his offer, ”the statement said.
Aslam said the NIA has nothing on record that the smuggled gold was to finance terrorism and section 15 of the UAPA specifically states that whoever performs any act with the intent to threaten or that may threaten the economic security of India commits a act of terrorism.
“The FIR has no basis in this area and deserves to be annulled since the NIA could not demonstrate such intention on the part of the petitioner. Furthermore, any such act would not by itself attract the crime of the UAPA. The smuggling of gold should have been dealt with under the corresponding provision of the Customs Law and not the UAPA ”, said his allegation.
He said the NIA has registered the FIR on the mere suspicion that the proceeds from the smuggled gold could be used to finance terrorism in India.
“Even if the petitioner had financed the smuggling of gold, it would not amount to any crime according to the UAPA because an act carried out with the intention of causing harm to the economic security of India alone would attract the crime according to the UAPA,” he said. . .
Aslam argued that NIA’s second FIR cannot be filed for the same facts and reasons that the original case was filed under the Customs Law.
On July 3 last year, customs department officials seized more than 18.56 kg of gold bars at the Jaipur International Airport and arrested ten people, including Aslam, who was allegedly carrying 1,515.70 grams of gold and had come from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
On July 5, Aslam and nine others were brought to court and sent to judicial custody for 14 days in the case brought by the Customs department.

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