HC grants bail to 4 foreign nationals | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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HC grants bail to 4 foreign nationals

Four foreign nationals convicted for stealing diamonds worth Rs6.73 crore from a jewellery show in Goregaon in August 2010 were granted bail by the Bombay high court on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 27, 2011 01:36 IST
HT Correspondent

Four foreign nationals convicted for stealing diamonds worth Rs6.73 crore from a jewellery show in Goregaon in August 2010 were granted bail by the Bombay high court on Friday.

A division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice PD Kode granted the four bail on bond of Rs1 lakh each and sureties of the same amount. The court has, however, restrained their movement to Mumbai and Thane districts.

The bench granted them bail primarily considering the fact that they had already undergone half of the sentence.

In a first case of plea bargaining, Guerrero Lugo Elvia Grissel, 24, her husband Gutierez Orlando, 35, and two others — Campos Molan Elias, 39, and Gonzalesz Maldonado Mauricio, 24 — had admitted their guilt before an additional chief metropolitan magistrate of esplanade court.

Section 265-F of the Criminal Procedure Code prescribes 1/4th of the sentence for the accused persons who opt for plea bargaining.

The magistrate, however, held that the legislature had left no discretion to the trial court and handed down sentence of 21 months’ (1/4th of maximum 84 months) imprisonment to each of them.

All the four convicts moved high court seeking reduction in sentences. Their counsels, Murtaza Najmi and Jagdish Shetty, pointed out that the magistrate had the discretion of sentencing the convicts to any term up to 21 months, and if the legal provisions were interpreted in such a manner no one would come forward for plea bargaining.

The judges found substance in the arguments and directed the state government to file affidavit in reply to the petition.