Bombay HC notice to UK embassy over pending appeal against resident
The Bombay high court (HC) has issued a notice to the United Kingdom (UK) embassy about the pendency of an appeal against the 2003 acquittal of a former Baroda resident. The individual relocated to the UK in 2004 after his acquittal and broke all contact with his advocate.
The court also directed the state to provide a copy of the non-bailable warrant to the UK embassy and directed the Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai and Virar division police commissioner to execute the non-bailable warrant issued against the man in whichever way possible.
A division bench of justice Sadhana Jadhav and justice NR Borkar, while hearing the appeal of the state against the 2003 acquittal of two persons in a case of murder at Kashimira police station, was informed that the when the appeal was filed in 2004, both the respondents had been represented by their lawyers, and hence no action was taken against them under section 390 of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, as the hearing of the appeal was delayed, the first respondent returned to the United States, and thereafter was not in touch with his lawyer.
The court was further informed that the second respondent, who was a resident of Baroda when the appeal was filed, had blocked all the contact with his lawyer, and hence it was not possible to get his presence for the hearing of the appeal. Advocate Nitin Sejpal informed that though his letters to the respondent had been received at the given address, there was no response from the second respondent.
On March 9, the second respondent’s step-sister, who had received the letters of the advocate at the Baroda address, approached the court and informed that she was not aware of his UK address, only a mobile number was available.
After hearing the submissions the bench observed, “In view of this fact, we are constrained to issue non-bailable warrant against respondent no 2.”
The court further directed a lookout notice to be issued against the respondent, which will be circulated at all airports too. The court then directed the state to send a copy of the warrant to the UK embassy, and submit a report to that effect within two weeks, and directed the registry to issue a notice to the Embassy about pendency of the appeal against acquittal.
In an earlier hearing, the court had issued a similar notice to the US embassy regarding a non-bailable warrant issued against the first respondent in the appeal, who had shifted to the US after his acquittal. However, after the US Consulate informed the court that the Ministry of External Affairs needed to serve a letter rogatory (request to foreign court) through the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC to get the non-bailable warrant executed, the court changed its order and directed the police commissioner to issue letter rogatory to the MEA authorities concerned.