While boarding the connecting flight to Mumbai from IGI Airport, three cartridges were found, based on which an FIR was lodged.
New Delhi: Three live cartridges found in the baggage of a French tourist, going to Goa via Delhi and Mumbai, has put a spanner on his visit to India after Delhi high court refused to quash the FIR against him under Arms Act. Herve Croso, 64, had claimed in his plea that when he boarded the plane from Charles de Gaulle airport at Paris, his luggage was screened and no bullets were found.
However, while boarding the connecting flight to Mumbai from IGI Airport, three cartridges were found, based on which an FIR was lodged.
Mr Croso has sought quashing of the FIR on the ground that the live cartridges were not in his bag when he boarded the plane at Paris and someone appears to have tamperied with it at the airport, where he stayed for 13 hours before his Mumbai flight.
Justice A.K. Pathak dismissed the Frenchman’s plea, saying since the probe was on, there was no justification in quashing the FIR.
“I am of the view that facts have to be verified during the investigation. Whether the live cartridges were kept by tampering the baggage of petitioner or were carried by the petitioner himself is a subject matter of investigation, which is still on.”
“At this stage, when investigations are still in progress, I do not find any justification to entertain the writ petition and quash the FIR,” the court said.
According to the petition filed by advocate Ramni Taneja, the case in the trial court has not proceeded further although there have been various miscellaneous hearings from time to time from December 2, 2016.
Croso, who arrived in India on November 30, under a multiple entry tourist visa valid from November 7, 2016 to May 6, 2017, has claimed he has no criminal record whatsoever in France, in India or anywhere else in the world.
He has contended, in his plea, that he was not in “conscious possession” of the bullets and “mere custody without the awareness of the nature of such possession does not amount to any offence under the Arms Act”.