New Delhi, 12 July
A city court today said that the menace of corruption has affected the country for many years and the mindset of ‘right connections’ and ‘sifarish’ for getting one’s work done by jumping the queue or obtaining a contract or tender without deserving it by paying a bribe, needs to be changed by sending a strong message to such elements of society.
Making these observations, the court dismissed the bail plea of former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew Vijay Singla and six others in the Rs 10 crore cash-for-post railway bribery case, as they can tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses, if released on bail.
The court added that courts of law are neither caged nor parrots who will take any chargesheet filed before them, while dismissing the contentions of the defence counsel that CBI has filed the chargesheet under pressure and has let off the real culprits.
On the defence’s contention that CBI has filed the chargesheet in a hurry only to ensure that the accused persons do not get bail, the court pointed out, "The argument rather amuses me, as to whether they want to argue that CBI should themselves have ensured grant of mandatory bail to accused persons by not filing the chargesheet? It is strange that in this case when by their efforts they succeeded in filing the chargesheet in time, they are being questioned."
Besides Singla, special CBI judge Swarana Kanta Sharma also dismissed bail pleas of suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, MD of Bangalore-based G G Tronics India Pvt Ltd Narayan Rao Manjunath and alleged middleman Sandeep Goyal, saying they were the main players who hatched the conspiracy.
“I have carefully gone through the intercepted conversations between Sandeep Goyal, Manjunath, Vijay Singla and Mahesh Kumar… After going through the same, I am of the opinion that a perusal of the conversation between the above mentioned accused persons and their conversation with other co-accused, clearly points out that they are the main players of hatching the conspiracy and ensuring that it is executed and taken to its logical end,” said the court. Apart from these four accused, the court rejected bail pleas of Rahul Yadav, Samir Sandhir and Sushil Daga, who all were arrested in May. While passing any order, the court said, it remains aware that if the high and mighty should not escape law due to their position, there should not be instances when they should be targeted only because they hold a high position or are related to a person holding high position.
The court also said that Mr Bansal, who has been made a witness in this case by the CBI, will be examined at the appropriate stage of trial. The agency’s move, however, has been criticised by some of the accused in this case.
The court also rejected Manjunath’s argument that due to the attention this case has attracted in the media, it adversely affects the rights of the accused even for grant of bail.
"The outer commotion whether in the court room, outside court room or the media does not affect the inner calm and reflection that a judge exercises while passing any order or judgement… Courts do not pass orders on the basis of what is being talked outside the purview of the documents placed before it," said the court. During the day, the judge also heard the arguments on the bail plea of accused M V Murali Krishan and C V Venugopal, who were chargesheeted by the CBI but were not arrested during the probe, and fixed 15 July for pronouncement of order on their application. They were named as accused in the chargesheet filed on 2 July.