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Custody under COFEPOSA Act: Kerala HC orders probe into the leak of top secret order before execution

Kerala High Court

A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into how a “top secret” document relating to the detention of a person under the Protection of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities (COFEPOSA) Act reached the accused person before the order is executed.

A bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajith Kumar issued the direction to the state police chief in a petition filed by Fasalu Rahman, 29, a native of Malappuram, arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in connection with the seizure of 9.73 kg gold in last year of December. He has sought quashing of the detention order passed against him by Joint Secretary, COFEPOSA, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, New Delhi.

The Bench adhered that the State Police, which is the executing agency in preventative guardianship under the COFEPOSA Act, has to preserve entire secretiveness in applying the detainment arrangements.

We consider it appropriate to direct the State Police Chief to conduct a detailed inquiry through an officer, not below the rank of SP as to how the ‘top secret’ communication reached the hands of the petitioner. Based on the report of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken against the officials concerned, who are not responsible for maintaining complete confidentiality of that communication. The action taken report will be filed before this court before November 28, the court said.

The state police had described the court that while executing the detainment order of another person, asub-inspector had inaptly given a dupe of the private document along with the order, and the supplicant in the case had entered a dupe of the secret document from him.

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