Question of impropriety and corrupt practices by the special public prosecutor of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were raised in the open court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Saturday, in connection with a case of transporting gold of foreign origin in paste form in rectum.
The case was on March 10 when four men were intercepted at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal, for carrying gold of foreign origin in paste form in their rectum and they were brought to Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Imphal office.
Also Read: 1.243 kg gold seized at Imphal International airport
Ten oval-shaped packages containing gold of foreign origin, in paste form of 2917.96 grams and in market value Rs 1,61,88,842, were recovered from them. DRI registered the case under section 135 Customs Act, 1962 and arrested under 104 of the Custom Act, 1962.
Those arrested four men are identified as Shuhaib KB (26), S/o Basheer K from Kerala; Sihab KK (38), S/o Moythi from Kerala; Abdul Rahaman (30), S/o Abdul Hei from Lilong Turel Ahanbi, Thoubal district and Yumkhaibam Inaocha (30), S/o Yumkhaibam Hafizuddin from Borayangbi Awang Leikai, Bishnupur district.
According to the DRI investigating officer submission, the gold in solid form weighing 2917.96 gram was illegally imported inside India from neighbouring country Myanmar in violation of section 7 (c) and 11 Custom Act, 1962.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on March 11 remanded them into judicial custody.
In the meantime, on March 15, counsel of the accused filed bail applications for releasing them as they are transporters, not owners. Moreover, the quantity of gold carried per person is under preview of bailable offence, the counsel stated.
The application was registered before the court on March 15 and on the same day an objection report was sought from the IO, thereafter fixing it for March 18. Further, on March 27, a no objection report was submitted. Thereafter, the matter was fixed for an objection report on April 1. It is a matter on record that no objection report so far has been placed before the court.
On April 1, counsel of the accused was present but the Special PP of DRI was not present. It is pertinent to note that SPP appeared before the court on March 31 and submitted that he would be undergoing eye surgery and as such a time of one week be granted for necessary procedure.
However, counsel for the accused strongly agitated and averred that the delay in the submission of an objection report by the SPP is deliberate and intentional. Counsel went to the extent of submitting that the Special PP, DRI had demanded a certain amount of money without which the objection shall not be submitted. Counsel further submitted that unless such practices are brought to the notice of the court, the corrupt practice will not cease and consequently violates the rights and plight of the litigants.
It is a matter on record that no objection report so far has been placed before the court. It is also a matter of fact that the reasons for non-submission of the objection report is unsatisfactory, stated the court.
It may be noted that the court could have proceeded in the absence of any objection report in deciding the present matter however, since the question of impropriety and corrupt practices by the Special PP have been raised in the open court, there ought to be some clarity on the allegation, the court opined.
The court has given an opportunity of being heard shall be afforded to the Special PP. Meanwhile, the Director, Revenue Intelligence, Imphal Regional Unit shall submit a report on the matter as alleged about within the next 72 hours from the date of passing the order.
Objection report if any, pertaining to the bail application be submitted by next date failing which the court shall proceed to decide the petition in the absence of any objection report, the court stated.