Bhubaneswar: The Odisha High Court Friday quashed a police complaint against an American engineer accused of possessing eight bullets while travelling in the state.
Justice S.C. Parija of the High Court in Cuttack, 26 km from here, quashed the First Information Report (FIR) and dropped criminal proceedings against William Michael Hurtubise, his lawyer Sarat Kumar Gajendra told IANS.
Hurtubise, 25, an engineer with a US-based company, was arrested after security staff at the Biju Patnaik Airport here found the bullets in his possession just before his scheduled departure on a chartered chopper from the state capital Sep 18.
Hurtubise was contracted by an offshore drilling contractor to inspect an engine at a drilling rig in the Bay of Bengal near the port town of Paradip, about 100 km from Bhubaneswar.
He had to stay in judicial custody for about a month until a court in Bhubaneswar granted him a conditional bail Oct 22 against a bail bond and a cash surety of Rs.50,000.
The court had also asked him to surrender his passport and visa and not to leave the country until the trial was complete.
The judge ordered the refund of the surety money and also that his visa and passport be returned to him with immediate effect. The judge also disapproved of the manner in which the police dealt with the case, the lawyer said.
“I am very happy with the judgment. It was a great relief,” Hurtubise told IANS minutes after the judge pronounced the verdict.