Saturday, January 28, 2023

Supreme Court flays Allahabad High Court for granting bail to accused in PF case, setting aside SC order

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The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on Allahabad High Court for granting bail to a person accused in fraud of Provident Funds worth Rs 22000 crore

A bench of Justice Khanwilkar of Supreme Court said that the High Court has no business to say when the Supreme Court has dealt with the merits of the case while dealing with the Mukul Rohtagi appearing for the Respondent said that the Supreme Court court order  of 15th  May 2020 recorded, ” we do not find any ground to release the petitioner on bail at this stage” which means that it is not a final decision forever.

The Court was made aware of the reason why the bail was needed. It was told that the respondent is 72 years of age and has got 5 stents in his heart already. Not only this, but also out of 17 accused ,16 have been released on bail. All of which have been released on bail on merits.

ON the observation of the HC that the respondent was not involved in making investment in DHFL, etc. Justice Khanwilkar observed – If HC is considering the case on medical grounds we have no difficulty but if it makes observations on the merits of the case, it is not acceptable.

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To this Mr Rohtagi Submitted that by the CBI’ affidavit it is clear that the respondent was not involved in any misdeed and it is on merits before the High Court.

J Khanwilkar said that “regardless of whatever CBI has said in its affidavit, the HC cannot overlook the merit of Supreme Court order.

Mr Rohtagi again emphasized on the fact that 16 out of 17 accused have got bail from the High Court, trial court and in some cases, from the Supreme court.Transfer of the case to CBI was in March 2020 and after that only one chargesheet has been filed after transfer. No further charge sheet is being filed.

ASG, Aishwarya Bhati appearing for the petitioner/CBI- the investigation was handed over in March 2020 after which one supplementary chargesheet has been filed by CBI and investigation is continuing qua the money trail.

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On the issue of grant of bail to other 16 accused, ld ASG Submitted that they are trying to draw a distinction for  the case of 3 accused from the rest. One is Ayodhya Prasad Mishra, second is Sudhanshu Dwivedi and third is P. K Gupta who has been granted bail and the petitioners are going to file an SLP against his release on bail as well.  ASG contended that they all are UPPCL employees and were the custodian of the money of the employees

Counsel for CBI on instructions submits that they have been advised to file SLP against the order granting bail to co- accused PK Gupta, Sudhanshu Dwivedi and Ayodhya prasad Mishra. According to the petitioners these 3 accused are similarly placed.
Proposed SLP to be filed on or before 20th April

Next date of hearing is 25th April

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