A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court recused itself from proceedings in relation to the Nedumbassery gold smuggling case after it emerged that one of the judges was offered a bribe on behalf of one of the accused.
Justice KT Sankaran, on Monday, alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 25 lakh by a relative of one of the accused, Yasir, in order to provide a favourable decision.
He alleged that he was approached through a telephone call to disallow preventive custody and offered the bribe. The accused, in their plea, had sought exemption from charges under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA).
According to reports, the judge announced in open court the decision of the bench to recuse itself from hearing the case. He reportedly said that he suspects the move was made intentionally, in order to force him to withdraw from the case.
Yasir Ignu Muhammed and P A Noushad (both natives of Muvattupuzha), emigration officer Jabin K Basheer, Shinoy, Bibin Scaria and Salim are accused in the case, pertaining to the smuggling of Rs 400 crore worth of gold from 2013 to 2015, through the Kochi Airport.