Bombay HC asks British national booked for theft to deposit Rs 15 lakh

Stephen John Smith says he picked up the laptop by mistake
Stephen John Smith says he picked up the laptop by mistake

A British national approached the Bombay High Court yesterday, requesting it to allow him to travel back to his country for his daughter's wedding. However, the court asked him to deposit Rs 15 lakh as security first.

The Sahar police had booked Stephen John Smith, a resident of Dunmore, UK, on December 16 for allegedly stealing an Apple laptop of Sunil Bhoolabhai, a resident of Khar, from near the scanner at the Mumbai airport.

After Bhoolabhai lodged a complaint, the CISF and Sahar police traced Smith to Goa, and arrested him. Smith claimed that he had picked it up thinking it was his bag, as they were the same.

"Smith is innocent. He picked up the laptop by mistake, thinking that it was his, as he is 62 years old," claimed his counsel, Diwakar Singh. Singh also requested the bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anuja Prabhudesai to quash the lookout notice issued by the Sahar police along with the FIR. However, the court noted that after getting bail, Smith tried to flee India in February, but due to the lookout notice, was caught.

His daughter, Gemma, is to marry in the UK on March 4.

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