March 29, 2021 8:54:50 pm
THE BOMBAY High Court has recently issued a notice to the UK embassy in relation with the pendency of an appeal against the 2013 acquittal of an individual in a murder case. The man, who was then residing at Baroda, Gujarat, after being acquitted, shifted to the UK in 2004 and broke all contact with his lawyer.
The court directed the state government to provide a copy of the non-bailable warrant (NBW) to the UK embassy and directed the Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar division police commissioner to execute the warrant issued against the man.
A division bench of Justice Sadhana S Jadhav and Nitin R Borkar passed an order while hearing an appeal filed by the state against the acquittal of two persons in the murder case registered at the Kashmira police station in 2003. The duo were tried and acquitted by the sessions court on September 26, 2003. The state, being aggrieved by the judgment and order of the acquittal, had filed a criminal appeal in 2004.
On March 9, advocate Nitin Sejpal informed the court that the second respondent, who was a resident of Baroda when the appeal was filed, had blocked contact with his advocate and there was no response from him. The stepsister of the second respondent, who had received the letters of the advocate at the Baroda address, approached the high court and upon inquiry, reported that ever since 2004, respondent two is residing in the UK. She was not aware of his address there, only a mobile number was available.
The bench noted, “In view of this fact, we are constrained to issue a non-bailable warrant against Respondent no. 2.”
The bench directed to issue a look-out notice against the respondent and the same to be circulated at all airports. The court also directed the state to send a copy of the NBW to the UK embassy and submit a report to that effect within two weeks. It also asked the high court registry to issue a notice to the UK embassy about the pendency of the appeal against acquittal.
The high court will hear the appeal next on April 6.
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