New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday granted
bail to the two Britons, accused of allegedly recording the
conversation between pilots and Air Traffic Control, but left
it to the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) to
decide the issue of their detention.
"Taking in view the nature of the offence, keeping the
accused in custody would amount to infringement of their
personal liberty," the court said.
The judge said he was granting bail for the offence
registered under the Indian Telegraph Act but since the issue
involved foreigners, "the FRRO is the sole authority with
regards to the foreigners and the court cannot give directions
on this issue (detention of foreigners)".
"The Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO),
Delhi, is directed to issue a fresh direction as regards to
fresh detention of the accused," Metropolitan Magistrate
Saurabh Pratap Singh Laler said.
Therefore, the fate of accused, Stephen Hampston (46)
and Steve Martin (55), still hangs in balance as they may not
come out of Lampur detention centre meant for foreigners who
are found involved in illegal acts, despite getting the bail.
The court did not allow the plea of their counsel that
the bail order be clarified so that the Britons may not be
kept further in the detention centre by the FRRO.
The court, which asked the accused duo to furnish a
personal bond of Rs 10,000 each as a pre-condition of release,
fixed the matter on March 2 for further hearing.