Karnataka HC confirms detention of businessman under anti-smuggling law

The Karnataka High Court has upheld the detention of a businessman under the provisions of the Currency Conservation and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act 1974 to prevent him from continuing to engage in smuggling, encourage smuggling and process contraband goods through front companies.

A divisional bench consisting of Judge Alok Aradhe and Judge MGS Kamal passed the order while maintaining the detention of Gurmeet Singh Kohli by the Central Bureau of Economic Intelligence.

“From the detention order, it is evident that the detainee has a propensity and potential to commit the offenses and despite serving a summons to appear, he has engaged in the commission of offences,” observed the Chamber in denying a habeas corpus petition filed by the inmate’s daughter. .

The detainee played a key role in the smuggling of goods into the country and caused serious damage to the public treasury, had argued Madhukar Deshpande, a lawyer for the Bureau, referring to various proceedings brought against him by different statutory authorities for violation of the law.

The Bureau alleged that Gurmeet Singh Kohli is a prominent member and mastermind of a “well-organized smuggling syndicate”, which involves his son Aman Puneet Singh Kohli (who was also detained on the same charges) and others, involved in using impermissible duty drawbacks and other multi-million dollar export inducements in violation of the law by establishing more than a dozen shell companies to smuggle goods through of a false declaration of export goods under the pretext of exporting “Indian hand-knotted silk carpets”.

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