Gold seizure SL passengers: HC orders to preserve CCTV footage

The petitioners prayed for directions to quash the Customs department’s statement of seizing gold and to preserve the CCTV footage of their movement in the airport from the time of deboarding from the flight until reaching the departure lounge.
Gold seizure SL passengers: HC orders to preserve CCTV footage
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday directed the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) of Chennai airport to preserve and produce the CCTV footage of Customs and CISF personnel’s alleged interceptions with five Sri Lankan nationals in connection with the 'seizure' of gold bars from aircraft lavatory on June 2.

Justice Anita Sumanth passed the direction on hearing a plea filed by Ishanul Haq and four other SL nationals who landed at Chennai airport from Dubai as transit passengers to Colombo.

The petitioners prayed for directions to quash the Customs department’s statement of seizing gold and to preserve the CCTV footage of their movement in the airport from the time of deboarding from the flight until reaching the departure lounge.

The petitioners submitted through their counsel S Zahir Hussain that when they came out of the flight to transit area at Anna International Airport, the customs officials stopped them and seized gold weighing about 7 kilograms from them. They further submitted that the gold was legally purchased in Dubai with a proper invoice.

They stated that the customs officials had illegally issued a press statement saying that they had confiscated gold from the lavatory and toilet of the concerned flight in which the SL nationals had come.

Therefore, the SL nationals had approached the HC seeking a direction to CISF and customs to preserve the footage. Recording the submissions, the judge directed the customs department to file a status report and asked the CISF to preserve the CCTV footage in connection with the SL nationals/petitioners.

It is noted that the petitioners were in the transit hall for more than two weeks before they left for Colombo last weekend.

The judge posted the matter on July 18.

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