HC dismisses petition by Chinese national seeking nod to go back to her country; cites pending trial

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Bengaluru, Jul 9 (PTI) The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a petition filed by a Chinese national accused in alleged loan app scams, seeking permission to travel back to her country pending trial on the grounds of meeting her ailing father.

A single judge bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna passed the order on the plea by 42-year-old Hu Xiaolin, who is allegedly involved in a series of Chinese loan app scams known as “Power Bank app scam”, in which customers were coerced and cheated of several crores of rupees in Karnataka and Kerala.

The court took note of the Chinese Criminal Code, according to which once a person becomes an accused, he is not permitted to move out of the country till the trial gets completed.

"The petitioner being a Chinese national is undoubtedly aware of the law that prevails in China in treatment to (of) a foreign national or an alien, as described in its laws. If laws in China prohibit such exit of a foreign national under the aforesaid circumstances, laws of India cannot be made flexible on any score whatsoever, as it is a case of a Chinese national who is involved in multiple crimes," it said.

The court also said that, if the petitioner is permitted to move out of the shores of the nation, despite the plethora of crimes pending against her, it would become impossible to conclude trial, as it would be permitting her to flee justice and create a dent in the majesty of law.

According to sources, Xiaolin had come to India in 2017 and married Anas Ahmed, an Indian national, and is residing at present in Bengaluru.

The cases were registered against Xiaolin and her husband based on the complaint filed by Razorpay Software Private Limited, a payment gateway.

The petitioner was arrested and released on bail conditions which include that she would not leave the country without prior permission from the court.

According to sources, the petitioner submitted that the Kerala high court had permitted her to visit China and come back in connection with cases registered in Kerala.

To this, the Karnataka HC said: "The High Court of Kerala granting permission to travel will not bind this Court to consider the issue on merits, as the order passed by the High Court of Kerala does not indicate the crimes or the practice prevailing in China to other nationals including Indian nationals. Therefore, seeking permission to travel abroad does not merit any consideration in the peculiar facts of this case." PTI KSU RS RS