Judgement of the Day - ROLAND MOESLE vs. UNION TERRITORY OF LAKSHADWEEP

Facts

Ronald Moesle a German Citizen, was granted PAN and AADHAAR by the authorities without any interrogation about his citizenship. He states that he entered India with a German passport which was valid till 2011. He approached the High Court of Kerala for seeking anticipatory bail after a crime was registered against him for the offences punishable under Section 12(1) (c) of the Passports Act as he could not produce the documents and passport for inspection and Section 3 of the Foreigners Act for remaining in India since 2011 illegally. He thought that he is a permanent citizen of India because he had obtained Permanent Account Number (PAN) in the company which he started in his name.


Judgment

Justice Ashok Menon enunciated that Ignorantia Juris non-excusat that is ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If Ronald had doubt regarding his citizenship, he should have inquired about the same. Also, the punishment for the offences was more than 7 years, so bail can’t be granted to him, according to Section 438 of Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. Ronald was asked to be surrender before the investigating officer within two weeks. He could be released on bail only if he has execution bond for Rs. 100000 with two solvent sureties.

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