Apex court orders Samir Hingora’s arrest, recalls it

NEW DELHI - In a dramatic development, the Supreme Court Monday ordered but later reversed the arrest warrant of Samir Hingora, a Bollywood producer who was convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.

The arrest order by a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam was recalled within hours after the court was convinced by Hingora’s counsel that the filmmaker had returned from a trip abroad and handed over his passport to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Hingora, who is on bail after his conviction in the serial blasts case, was allowed by the court in April to go abroad in connection with the shooting of his films.

He was held guilty and sentenced to nine years imprisonment by a designated Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court for his involvement in the blasts conspiracy and supply of weapon to his actor friend Sanjay Dutt but was allowed to visit South Africa by the court.

The court had directed Hingora to inform the CBI about his telephone numbers where he will be available during his visit and furnish an undertaking that after his trip from May 22 to June 2, he will surrender his passport to the investigation agency June 3.

The non-bailabale warrant was issued against Hingora after Hingora’s junior counsel failed to convince the court that he had returned from South Africa and had submitted his passport to the CBI.

But couple of hours later, Hingora’s senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi clarified that his client has already returned and has submitted his passport.

This led the court to recall its earlier order for Hingora’s arrest. The dramatic occurrence took place during the hearing on another plea by Hingora for going abroad.

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