HC grants permission to Ramani to go to Phuket

Published: Friday, March 31, 2006, 18:42 [IST]
 

New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today granted permission to Jessica Lall murder case prime witness Bina Ramani to go to Phuket in Thailand to attend marriage of her niece.

A division bench of Justice Manmohan Sareen and Justice Manju Goel asked Ramani to surrender the passports of her husband George Melhot and daughter Malani Ramani to the police and provide security of Rs five lakh by a bank draft with the Registrar of the court.

She has been directed to come back on the intervening night of April 3 and 4 to assist the investigation into the Jessica Lall murder case.

The bench granted permission after hour-long arguments during which the Delhi Police Counsel Mukta Gupta strongly opposed Ramani's plea for going abroad.

Ms Gupta asserted that Ramani was ''not merely a witness but a strong suspect believed to have destroyed vital evidence and tampered with the scene of crime.'' She also urged the court not to grant permission as Ramani was a British passport holder and might not return after leaving the country.

Ms Gupta also centended that no purpose would be served by her going to phuket as a marriage ceremony would be over by this evening.

Senior Counsel Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Ramani, said it was her fundamental right to go abroad and this right could not be curtailed without due procedure of law.

The wedding of her niece, the daughter of her elder brother, would be held today and the reception would be tomorrow.

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