Mumbai: In a relief to Allan Waters, a UK national convicted for sexually abusing boys at an orphanage here, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday accepted his petition seeking to include nearly 18 months he spent in a US jail while his extradition process was on, in his prison term.
Waters and his compatriot Duncan Grant, both former British Royal Naval officers, were convicted by a Sessions Court in a paedophilia case and sentenced to six years` imprisonment. Their conviction was upheld by Supreme Court.
Waters recently filed a petition in the HC seeking that 18 months he spent in US jail be set off against his sentence here and that period be considered as spent in jail.
Justice A V Nirgude, while accepting the petition, observed that Waters was detained in New York following a warrant issued by an Indian court. "The warrant was issued as part of investigations. By no stretch of imagination, one can say that his (Waters) detention in US was not part of the investigation," he stated.
The court noted that Waters was not wanted in any other case in US and he was detained there only as part of investigations into the paedophilia case in Mumbai.
Waters was arrested in New York on April 3, 2003 and extradited to India on September 6, 2004. He was in custody of US authorities till then.
Waters` counsel Taraq Sayed told the court that his client was due for release in November after completion of his sentence. "With the High Court order, Waters can be released immediately," Sayed said.
The HC, however, stayed the order for four weeks to allow the prosecution to appeal in the apex court.