The Delhi High Court has allowed an American citizen who was convicted under Section 20 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to travel Chicago, U.S.A. as his old-aged father was suffering from ailments.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Neena Bansal Krishna directed, “Accordingly, we allow the applicant/appellant to travel to Chicago, U.S.A. for the abovementioned purpose for the period of 4 (four) weeks from the date he actually departs from Delhi,, subject to furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- in respect of him with the Surety Bond of like amount each to be furnished by his wife, two sons and one daughter with the Register General of this Court.”

The Bench made it clear that if the applicant/appellant does not return to India within the time so granted by it, the said personal surety bonds shall be forfeited and Look-Out Circular (LOC) shall be issued in respect of his wife, two sons and one daughter.

Senior Advocate Trideep Pais represented the appellant while APP Ritesh Kr. Bahri represented the State.

In this case, the appellant was convicted for the offences punishable under Section 20 of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was sentenced to undergo 5 years of imprisonment along with a fine of Rs. 25,000/-. However, the said sentence imposed on the applicant/appellant was suspended. He was convicted for pasting the poster and making the propaganda on the issues mentioned in the poster and he had produced the said poster, wherein it was written: “Destroy Nationalism Establish KHILAFAH STUDENTS ISLAMIC MOVEMENT OF INDIA”.

The appellant prayed before the High Court to permit him to leave the limits of NCT of Delhi in order to travel to Chicago for a period of four weeks. It was submitted that the father of the appellant, who was 89 years old, was suffering from various old-age ailments and was unable to walk and his mother was also 86 years old, and both were USA citizens. Due to deteriorating condition of his father, he wanted to pay a visit for a period of 4 weeks.

The High Court in the above context of the case said, “Learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the State submits that if this Court is inclined to allow the present application, some conditions be imposed on the applicant/appellant, so that he may not even think of violating the said terms and conditions imposed by this Court. … In view of above discussion and submissions made on behalf of learned counsel for the parties, we are of the considered opinion that there is merit in the present application.”

The Court, therefore, directed the prosecution to release the passport of the appellant within two days and said that he shall get the ticket booked to Chicago within one-week thereafter.

“Since, the applicant/appellant is an American citizen and is holding American passport, he is directed to apply for VISA for his return to India. Thereafter, he shall submit the itinerary of his visit to Chicago, U.S.A. along with his address and phone number to the concerned Police Station/Investigating Agency through learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing in the present application”, added the Court.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the application.

Cause Title- Mohd. Yasin Patel Alias Falahi v. State (Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC:5318-DB)

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