A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to a Pakistani couple accused of illegally entering India to enable them to prove that they intend to permanently settle in this country.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav granted bail to Imran and his wife Soofia,arrested by the Delhi Police last year,on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and an Indian surety of like amount which was furnished by Imrans parents who live in Ahmedabad but directed them to appear in the court for every hearing. The next hearing is on April 23.
The couple,however,would not be released from judicial custody till at least April 13,by when the authorities have been directed by the court to verify the residential address of Imrans parents.
In its order,the court noted that initially,in the print media,both the accused persons were branded as terrorists who had come to India with a jihadi mission. But on completion of probe,there was nothing in the chargesheet for any such activity.
Granting the couples plea that they be released on bail to enable them to pursue their case and seek permission to settle permanently in India,the judge pointed out that they did not want to plead guilty and be deported to Pakistan because they had submitted that media there has given them wide publicity and they would be branded as Indian spies and apprehended.
The court had earlier given interim bail to Imran so he could prove,with relevant documents,that he was born in Gujarat and had gone to Pakistan in 1980s. He has told court that he returned to India with the intention to settle permanently with his family after his business in Pakistan went under in the 2008 economic crisis.
But in India,he was arrested on the false charge that he and his wife Soofia were part of a terror plot to kill Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi,he said.