The Delhi High Court has sought the status report from the Central government on a plea moved by an absconding accused wanted in an alleged rape case in the United Kingdom.
The petitioner has sought a direction for a full disclosure of evidence, collected during the investigation for the alleged rape case at a London pub registered against him in London, UK in May 2017.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh on Monday issued directions to the Ministry of External Affairs to file a status report on the petition moved by Jose Inacio Cota, a person of Indian origin and a Portuguese citizen. The court has listed the petition for hearing on 11 March 2022.
The counsel for the Central government objected to the petition on the ground that the petitioner is not appearing in extradition proceedings before the lower court. The petitioner is wanted in a rape case in the UK and his extradition request has been filed by the UK authorities to face trial in the matter.
Advocate Arpit Batra, counsel for the petitioner, argued that there is a treaty between India and the UK. The UK is bound to provide all the documents and evidence collected during the investigation against a person of Indian origin.
The petitioner who is originally a resident of Goa has moved a petition through advocate Arpit Batra. The petition has sought a direction for full disclosure of the evidence collected during the investigation in London in physical and electronic form.
The petition stated that such evidence may include medical evidence, forensic evidence, CCTV footage, the audio recording of the interviews taken by the UK police, details of calls made to the UK Police, formal police complaint and record of seizure of articles.
The counsel for the petitioner submitted that this will assist the petitioner in exercising his fundamental rights, as well as in building a defence for him.
The petition stated that the petitioner has been vexatiously roped into a false case in the UK, which is racially motivated and thus discriminatory and prejudicial toward the petitioner.
The petitioner further stated the extradition proceedings have infringed the fundamental right guaranteed to the petitioner under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and certain basic rights guaranteed under various Conventions, Bilateral Treaties and Multinational Agreements.
The petition stated that the alleged case was registered on May 28, 2017. The petitioner had flown from London to Mumbai on June 5, 2017. His arrest warrant was issued on June 11, 2019 by the UK Court. An extradition request was sent by the UK Government to the Ministry of External Affairs of India on September 18, 2020. A Complaint case was filed in Patiala House Court of New Delhi by the Central Government on March 26, 2021. An NBW was issued against the petitioner through the CBI Interpol on July 3, 2021.
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