Decided on April 05,2016

Joshua And Ors. Appellant


- (1.) Leave granted.
(2.) We have heard the matter finally.
(3.) The appellants herein are Nigerian Nationals who were arrested in criminal proceedings arising out of FIR No.1830 dated 20.08.2014 lodged under Section 420 IPC with the Police Station Adoor, District Pattanamthitta, Kerala. These proceedings are still pending. Since the charge sheet was not filed within the prescribed period, the appellants became entitled to statutory bail which was granted by the High Court vide order dated 27.11.2014. The condition for bail was that the appellants shall execute bond of RS. 1,00,000/- each with two solvent sureties each for the like sum each to the satisfaction of the First Class Magistrate, Adoor. Since the appellants are the citizens of Nigeria, they have not been able to arrange the aforesaid sureties and because of this reason they are still suffering incarceration though bail was granted to them more than 1 1/2 years ago. Faced with this situation, 2 the appellants moved the High Court again with a request to modify and relax the bail conditions. The offer made was that the Court may accept cash security of RS. 25,000/- and personal bond of RS. 1,00,000/- in place of bond of RS. 1,00,000/- with two solvent sureties. The appellants had also pursued the matter with the Government of Nigeria for the compliance of the conditions and in response, the High Commission of Nigeria had stated that it would be ready to cooperate with the High Court of Kerala in dispensation of justice and assured that the High Commission will not issue any travel document to the six Nigerians during the trial. Letter dated 17.03.2015 was addressed by the High Commission of Nigeria to this effect to the Kerala High Court. However, the High Court has dismissed the application for relaxing the bail conditions vide the impugned judgment dated 26.03.2015 on the ground that there is no extradition treaty between India and Nigeria and mere undertaking given by the Nigerian Embassy is of no avail. It is this order which is under challenge in the present proceedings.;

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