The Bombay High Court has agreed to waive the time spent in an American prison by Allan Waters (63), convicted of sexually abusing boys at a Colaba orphanage, from his six-year sentence here.
Justice A.V. Nirgude on Tuesday accepted the petition seeking to include in Waters’ prison term a year and more he spent in the U.S. jail while his extradition process was going on. Waters, a former member of the British Royal Navy, was convicted of sodomising and sexually exploiting five minor boys along with another Englishman, Duncan Grant. William D’Souza, Indian manager of the Anchorage shelter home at Colaba was sentenced to three years for abetment. The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court and Waters was detained in New York on April 3, 2003 and extradited to India on September 6, 2004.
The court said Waters had been in detention in the U.S. for the same case. “By no stretch of imagination can one say his detention in the U.S. was not part of the investigation…Waters was not required for any other case in the U.S. which required his detention.”
Additional Public Prosecutor Rajshree Gadhvi, however, opposed the petition, saying Waters was not in Indian custody, and as he was not available for investigation, he could not be given the set-off.
Waters’ counsel Taraq Sayed said the man was due for release in November after the completion of his sentence. “With the High Court order, Waters can be released immediately,” he said.
The court has stayed the order for four weeks for the prosecution to appeal in the Supreme Court.
- Waters was detained in New York in April 2003 and extradited in September 2004
- Convict cannot be given set-off as he was not in Indian custody: prosecutor