Bombay HC issues notice to American embassy for New Jersey resident in a murder appeal

Published on Feb 14, 2021 11:49 PM IST

The Bombay high court (HC), on February 9, directed the court registry to issue notice to the American embassy and directed the state to send the nonbailable warrant (NBW) issued against an accused residing in New Jersey, the United States, to the embassy. The court has sought a report from the state within two weeks.

Bombay high court was hearing an appeal filed by the state of Maharashtra against the acquittal of two accused in a murder case. (HT FILE)
Bombay high court was hearing an appeal filed by the state of Maharashtra against the acquittal of two accused in a murder case. (HT FILE)
ByKAY Dodhiya, Mumbai

The Bombay high court (HC), on February 9, directed the court registry to issue notice to the American embassy and directed the state to send the nonbailable warrant (NBW) issued against an accused residing in New Jersey, the United States, to the embassy. The court has sought a report from the state within two weeks. The court has also directed commissioner of police, Thane to execute the NBW against another accused residing in Baroda. The directions came after the court was informed that both the accused, who were acquitted of a 2003 murder case, were not appearing for the hearing of the appeal against their acquittal filed by the state in 2004.

The court also directed issuance of a lookout notice against both the accused and to circulate the same to all airports to ensure their presence for the hearing of the appeal.

On February 9, a division bench of justice Sadhana Jadhav and justice Nitin Borkar, while hearing an appeal filed by the state of Maharashtra against the acquittal, was informed that the state wanted to adduce further evidence in the case, and hence the appeal against the acquittal should be heard. The appeal was filed in 2004 wherein both the persons had been represented by their respective lawyers.

In an earlier hearing on February 4, the court was informed by advocate Nitin Sejpal, for the second respondent who lives at Baroda, that his client had not responded to the notice of final hearing of the appeal despite being repeatedly informed of the same and that the respondent had blocked all communication from the advocate.

With regards to the first respondent, the court was informed by additional public prosecutor PP Shinde that as per the trial court records, he was residing in New Jersey, US and no advocate represented him for the hearing of the appeal.

The court took cognisance of the submissions and directed for the issuance of an NBW against the two acquitted persons. While directing the registry to issue notice to the American Embassy, the court directed the state to send the NBW to the embassy to ensure that the first respondent was present for the hearing of the appeal.

The court also directed the commissioner of police, Thane to communicate with the commissioner of police, Baroda to ensure the presence of the second respondent and to personally look into the matter and make every possible effort to get the NBW executed.

The matter has been posted for hearing on March 9.

Advocate Ashraf Ahmed Shaikh said that as per section 105 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), reciprocal arrangements were made by the Central government with foreign governments, and in light of this the ministry of home affairs on February 11, 2009 issued comprehensive guidelines with regards to the service of summons/warrants/judicial processes.

“As per the guidelines, the service of nonbailable arrest warrants amounts to the extradition of the individual and such requests are to be forwarded to the ministry of external affairs, New Delhi,” said Shaikh. He added that the NBW issued by the Bombay HC was enforceable on the first respondent living in New Jersey, but it had to be done based on certain legal procedures contained in applicable treaties negotiated on the basis of the International Principle of Extradition.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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