Patiala House court grants bail to two Britons held under Indian Telegraph Act

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): The Patiala House court on Tuesday granted bail to the two Britons, who were detained here allegedly for illegal plane spotting and recording the conversation between pilots and Air Traffic Control. The duo was booked under the Indian Telegraph Act.

Metropolitan Magistrate Saurabh Pratap Singh Laler granted bail to Stephen Hampston (46) and Steve Martin (55) on a surety of Rs 10,000 each.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for March 3 and the court has asked the two not to leave the country without its prior permission.

Counsel for the two accused Rajiv Awasthi said, "They have only been found to have violated the Indian Telegraph Act. Aircraft spotting is a common hobby abroad; they did not know they had to take permission from the government for the same here in India."

"Police did not oppose bail. The men cannot leave the country until the court decides on March 3 whether they will face trial, or whether the case can be concluded on the basis of the material available on record," added Awasthi.

The duo was detained at the Radisson Hotel near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport last week for allegedly recording the conversation between the pilots and the Air Traffic Control.The Delhi police did not oppose the bail pleas of the two accused, who have been booked under the Indian Telegraph Act.

The offence under Section 20 of the Telegraph Act is under bailable and non-cognizable offences. (ANI)

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