The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Mumbai Police not to release the passports of two British nationals who were acquitted last month by the Bombay High Court in a case of paedophilia. The order amounts to restraining Duncan Grant and Allan John Waters from leaving the country until the Supreme Court decides the appeal of an NGO challenging the their acquittal.
Issuing notice to Grant and Waters on the appeal of NGO Childline India Foundation, the court sought an explanation from them as to why shouldn’t it issue warrants for their arrest despite their acquittal.
The court wants a response on the NGO’s plea to initiate special powers under Section 390 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Under this provision, the Supreme Court can direct arrest of a person who stands acquitted by the high court. If the arguments of Childline India Foundation satisfy the court, Grant and Waters can be imprisoned again, until the NGO’s appeal is decided.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan pronounced the directions.