Srinagar: A trial court in Srinagar on Tuesday acquitted the French Journalist Comiti Paul Edward from charges of Visa Violation and directed the authorities to return the seized passport and other accessories including a camera to the journalist.
Special mobile magistrate-13 Finance, Javaid Iqbal while in his judgement said that no sufficient ground has been found on the allegations made out by the prosecution against the journalist. “This court is convinced that the accused has not violated visa norms and thus direction is passed to the concerned authorities to release all the seized items in favour of the accused forthwith,” the judge said.
The state counsel pleaded before the court that Comiti had violated visa norms and was found carrying out journalistic activities by filming pellet victims and meeting political people.
While on other hand, Parvez Imroz who was representing French Journalist, pleaded before the court that the prosecution story had no grounds and Comiti had not done anything which was against law. “He (Comiti) was here on a proper visa and had fulfilled all the formalities,” Imroz pleaded.
The argument on the case was on carried for three days and eventually the court discharged the French journalist from offences of Visa Norms Violation.
Comiti was arrested by the police on December 9 under FIR no 87/2017 registered at police station Kothibagh and simultaneously he was booked under Section 14B of the Foreigners Amendment Act and was detained for four days and three nights, before a local court here in Srinagar granted him bail on December 12.
He was accused of filming pellet victims, meeting separatist leaders and interviewing Farooq Ahmed Dar, a younger from central district Budgam who was taken as ‘human shield’ by the Indian army.