THE BOMBAY High Court on Thursday quashed and set aside a detention order against Goregaon-resident Suresh Gulabchand Jaiswal (40), who along with two other men was apprehended by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi last year with nearly one lakh micro SD memory cards worth Rs 4.03 crore.
Jaiswal was booked under the provisions of The Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA Act). The Customs at Delhi Airport said Jaiswal and another man, flying from Delhi to Mumbai on September 3 last year as domestic passengers, along with an international passenger, were found smuggling cell phones, laptop batteries and memory cards with an intent to evade Customs duty.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, advocate Abhinav Chandrachud submitted before the court that though Jaiswal was released on bail in November 2019, a detention order under the COFEPOSA Act was made in February 2020 and the same was executed on July 2, almost eight months after the petitioner was released on bail. Chandrachud contended there was no explanation of the undue delay in passing the detention order as well as its execution till July.
On Thursday, a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik noted that “no reasonable effort was made” to locate and apprehend Jaiswal between March and May, and there was “hardly any explanation” pertaining to efforts made to trace out the detenue. Setting aside the detention order and directing that Jaiswal be set, free unless he is required in jail with any other case, the court said the “unreasonable delay in executing the order created a serious doubt” regarding the genuineness of the detaining authority for preventing Jaiswal from carrying out “prejudicial activity” as referred to in the grounds of detention.
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