The 62-year-old Pietermaritzburg cardiac nurse who was arrested and detained in India, after a bullet was found in her luggage at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport last month, should be home by the weekend, but will have to return to India to finalise her case.
Ishra Lutchman has been granted permission by the Indian courts to return to South Africa. She has been charged with contravening India’s Firearms Act.
The stress of her ordeal has taken its toll on her husband, Gangaparsad, who was in hospital on Monday with a suspected heart attack.
Speaking from India on Monday, family friend Rumen Maistry, an advocate, said the court process had been lengthy, but counsel in India had secured a court order on Friday to allow Lutchman to have her passport and other belongings returned to her by airport staff.
They had had to find a local person to stand guarantor for her and provide surety of R70 000 because she would have to return to India when the charges were filed.
“Indian police have 90 days to do that,” said Maistry.
“Their justice system is about 10 years behind ours, so she will have to come back to court.”
If Lutchman complies, and wins her case, the money will be refunded.
Maistry said they had been told that the reason for the high surety was that many foreigners did not return on their set court date. - The Mercury