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By Kunal Rao

Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the bail granted to Ex-Jharkhand Minister Yogendra Sao accused in several cases related to rioting and instigating violence. However court refused to cancel the bail of his wife Nirmala Devi.

Acting upon a plea filed by Government, a Supreme Court bench of Justices SA Bobde, S Abdul Nazeer and Indira Banerjee cancelled the bail granted to Yogendra Sao in 2017 by the apex court.

The Jharkhand government pressed for cancellation of bail to Yogendra Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi on account of breach of conditions.

“We find the application pressed on three counts. Firstly, that the order of this court contemplates that he shall stay in Bhopal and go to Jharkhand only for attending the Court, whereas he has constantly breached that condition by leaving Bhopal unauthorisedly and going to Jharkhand. We might record that Jharkhand is a place of the crimes for which he has been charged and it was found appropriate to prevent him from moving around in Jharkhand. Secondly, the ground urged is that he has threatened witnesses and thirdly, he has created hindrance in court proceedings. We do not propose to go into these last two grounds as it is not possible to test the truth of the allegations at this stage,” observed the bench.

“However, we find sufficient force in the first ground, namely, his unauthorised absence from Bhopal and corresponding presence at Jharkhand in view of the chart present by counsel showing he left Bhopal at several occasions and gone to Jharkhand,” the bench further added.

It said: “His presence in Jharkhand appears to be undisputed in view of the fact that there are several Details, including PNR Nos. Showing that he has travelled to Jharkhand along with dates on which he is supposed to have reached Jharkhand. There are mobile call details which show that he called from his cellphone no. Before transit at a particular airport and after transit at the destination. Though there are some instances when Yogendra Sao @ Yogendra Saw seems to have travelled because of hearing of the case at Jharkhand, there are several instances when his absence at Bhopal and presence in Jharkhand is unexplained and is obviously unauthorised”.

In the order apex court recorded, “We also find from the record of cases pending at Jharkhand that Yogendra Sao has been absent on several dates meant for framing charges. We accordingly consider it appropriate to cancel the Bail granted to him”.

“However we don’t consider it appropriate to allow application Seeking cancellation of Bail of his wife Nirmala Devi at this stage,” the court said.

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