Abdul Wahab said his son was strip-searched without following the due procedure.
Rajya Sabha MP PV Abdul Wahab has alleged that his son was recently intercepted at the international airport here by Customs, on his return from UAE, and strip-searched without following the due procedure.
The IUML MP said that he has forwarded a complaint regarding the same to the Union Finance Minister seeking an inquiry into the incident and appropriate action, if any.
Mr Wahab claimed that the Customs officials on duty exceeded their power and authority by taking his son to Ananthapuri hospital here, where he was strip searched and then subjected to an x-ray before being brought back to the airport.
"According to information I have been given, such an extreme step requires the approval of a magistrate. Customs officials cannot do it on their own as it is a violation of one's right to privacy and there are procedures in place for the same in the Customs' rules," he told PTI.
The Customs, while not reacting officially to the MP's allegations, contended that the officials present at the airport were only doing their duty and that inspections have been intensified in view of the increasing number of incidents of gold being smuggled into India from abroad.
A Customs source, on condition of anonymity, told PTI, "The officials were performing their duty. In view of the rising incident of gold smuggling through the airports, the agency has intensified its efforts to counter it." There were also incidents where gold was smuggled by concealing it in body cavities, the source said.
Meanwhile, some local media reports, quoting Customs officials, said that Wahab's son was not strip searched and that there was a look out circular (LOC) against the MP's son.
The MP said that his son was strip searched at the hospital and denied knowledge about any LOC.
He said the officials were aware that the person being detained was the son of an MP, a businessman and a director in Indus Motors.
He said that while it was okay to intercept and detain someone at the airport on grounds of suspicion or some complaint or due to their names coming up as flagged on the computer, steps like strip search and x-ray were an extreme measure.
The incident came to light when Mr Wahab mentioned it during his speech at an event recently.
In his speech, he had said that maybe his son's appearance aroused the suspicion of the Customs as he sported a beard.
He had also said that the incident occurred on November 1 night when his son arrived from Sharjah at Thiruvananthapuram international airport after attending a wedding abroad.