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Govt to deport Sobhraj; withdraws all cases

The government has decided to deport conman Charles Sobhraj to France immediately by withdrawing all pending cases against him.

The public prosecutor, in a five-page application filed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Y S Jonwal, contended that the expulsion decision was taken as his further stay in India may create law and order problems.

The central government has, through a special prosecutor, also sought withdrawal of the jailbreak case against Sobhraj, the jail officials, and others.

The jailbreak case, in which the maximum punishment is 10 year's imprisonment, is the only major one pending against Sobhraj at present. He had escaped from Tihar jail in New Delhi in 1986 after drugging the guards. He was caught in Goa after a few months.

In a five-page application field by the public prosecutor seeking dropping of the proceedings against Sobhraj and others in the sensational jailbreak case, the prosecution has contended that the maximum punishment which can be awarded to Sobhraj and others for the jailbreak case is 10 years. The period which Sobhraj has already undergone in jail in this case is more than that. Even if he is ultimately convicted, he will be liable to get liberty as this period will be set off against the period he has already spent in jail. Sobhraj has been in prison for more than 20 years.

Sobhraj was produced in court on Tuesday on the basis of a warrant issued on Monday. He sought time as his lawyer was not available.

The procecution, however, requested for an adjournment as the other accused in the case were not present.

The court adjourned the hearing to February 25.

The government is also reportedly withdrawing all other pending cases against Sobhraj throughout India.

Adjourning the hearing, the court directed the prosecution to serve dasti notices to all other accused in the jail-break case for February 21.

The judge also directed that Charles Sobhraj be produced before him by the FRRO on February 25 at 1400 hours IST.

The judge then allowed the request of Sobhraj to direct the police authorities to produce him in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Prem Kumar on Tuesday in connection with the contempt of court case which he filed through his counsel.


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