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2G: Court grants bail to accused considering recent apex court order

Arun S New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 28, 2011

The Delhi High Court, while releasing on bail the DMK MP Ms Kanimozhi and four others accused in the 2G case, considered the fact that the recent Supreme Court order granting bail to five corporate executives was “silent” about the charge of criminal breach of trust against all the accused carrying a maximum of life imprisonment.

The High Court noted that "the question which arises for consideration is as to whether the petitioners (Ms Kanimozhi and four others) who are charged for an offence... which carry life imprisonment, ought to be released on bail notwithstanding the fact that the order of the apex court is silent about the life imprisonment which the offence carries.”

However, the High Court found merit in the contention of Mr Altaf Ahmed (the counsel for Ms Kanimozhi) that although the apex court order does not find the mention of the charge of criminal breach of trust and the life imprisonment which could be imposed for the offence, it was cognizant of the fact that all the co-accused (five corporate executives) were charged so.

Besides, the apex court had taken the charges against all the co-accused as a whole and not individual charges, the High Court said, adding, “Therefore, if that be the position, this Court ought not to deny the bail to the petitioners on account of the omission, though inadvertent, in the order of the Apex Court.”

“I am of the view that when the Supreme Court has reproduced the facts of the case, given the magnitude of the offence, the severity of the punishment which it entails, it has taken into note of the fact of the accused persons in general being charged for an offence.. which carry life imprisonment. If despite the aforesaid facts, the Supreme Court has released the co-accused (corporate executives) on bail, the said benefit cannot be denied to the petitioners on the grounds of parity,” the High Court said.

“It will not be proper for this Court to dissect the order minutely and then try to make a distinction, so far as the case of the petitioner is concerned, when on the face of it there is none,” the High Court added.

The High Court also found that the order of the Special Judge was “not sustainable” regarding that the fact that it did not grant bail to Ms Kanimozhi despite she being entitled to invoke the additional ground of being a woman as envisaged in Section 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The court also granted bail to another accused Mr Karim Morani on medical grounds.

Published on November 28, 2011
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