Sunday, July 15, 2012

Corruption case: High court refuses to release passport of accused

The Gujarat high court has denied permission to an engineer to go abroad, where he got a job. This was because he is accused of corruption and facing a trial. 

Himanshu Ramvani from Bhuj town of border district of Kutch has been an undertrial in an corruption case. When he was released on bail, the concerned trial court imposed a condition that he would not go outside India without court's permission and accordingly he was asked to deposit his passport. 

Ramvani got a job of a Project Engineer in Khimji Ramdas Construction LLC at Muscat, Oman. But he could not join because his passport was impounded by the trial court. Ramvani moved the HC demanding his passport so that he could go to Muscat and join the firm. Before the court, he submitted that a passport cannot be impounded, as it would amount to violation of his fundamental rights. 

Seeking bail, Ramvani told the HC that there was no possibility that charges might not be framed in the case in near future. Hence the condition regarding his foreign visit be struck down and he be allowed to go abroad for the job. 

The state government, however, opposed the bail plea saying that Ramvani did not desire to go for a limited period, but his intention seemed to go for the service and he might settle there permanently. In this case, his presence could not be secured for the purpose of trial. 

The government lawyer also argued that passport is impounded mainly with a view to secure the presence of the accused that he may not flee away from India, when he is required for the trial. 

After hearing the case, justice R H Shukla refused to release Ramvani's passport with observation that such conditions are imposed with purpose of securing accused's presence during the trial. And if the accused permanently settles abroad, the purpose behind imposing such conditions would be defeated.

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