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An NRI, accused of committing arson, has been allowed to go to the US by the Gujarat High Court to keep alive his Green Card status.

A division bench of Justice Ravi Tripathi and Justice P.P. Bhatt allowed the plea of Mahendra Kumar Patel.

Patel moved the high court after the state filed a criminal appeal against his acquittal by a sessions court.

The state government’s counsel said Patel’s presence is required to ensure that he receives the punishment if the state’s appeal is upheld.

The maximum punishment for the offence under section 436 of the Indian Penal Code is life imprisonment.

The court said Patel would have to furnish a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh before the trial court, his tour program and a list of the addresses and contact numbers of places where he is to stay in the US.

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