Court refuses to return passport to Barreto

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Barasat, Apr 3: A local court today rejected the prayer of Mohun Bagan's Brazilian striker Jose Ramirez Barreto to return his seized passport.

Barasat court Chief Judicial Magistrate In-Charge Ratan Gupta, however, confirmed Barreto's bail, which was granted to him by Chief Judicial Magistrate Sumitra Roy on March 20. Barreto was arrested by Customs ofiicials for violating Indian Customs Act from Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International airport with "undisclosed" 20,500 US dollars and other foreign currencies on March 20 while trying to board an Indigo flight for Rio-de-Janerio via Dubai.

Barreto was on interim bail till date but his passport was seized, meant his movement had been restricted since then.

The court today while hearing arguments said the soccer player was needed to appear and cooperate with investigation officers of the Customs department on fortnightly basis.

Public prosecutor Hiralal Bhattacharya while opposing Barreto's prayer for returning his seized passport said that this court had no such juridiction under section 432 of the court procedure, saying only the High Court has such power.

"This court had no juridiction to hand over any articles seized by the Customs to the petitioners," advocate Bhattacharya told the court.

He also argued that the "investigation in the case remained at the initial stage and require more investigation." The next hearing is slated for May 5.


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