Published On: Mon, Oct 29th, 2018

Ex-minister, his MLA wife violating bail conditions: Jharkhand govt to Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Jharkhand government Monday told the Supreme Court that former minister Yogendra Sao and his MLA wife Nirmala Devi, accused in rioting cases in 2016, have been violating bail conditions.

Former Jharkhand Minister Yogendra Sao and his MLA wife Nirmala Devi

The apex court sought a response from both Sao and Devi in three weeks on the plea of the state seeking cancellation of their bail.

A bench of justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao, issued a notice to the former minister and the legislator from Barkagaon in Jharkhand, and sought their reply in three weeks.

The state government said Sao and his wife Devi, who are accused in a rioting case of 2016, were granted bail last year by the top court which had imposed a condition that they shall stay in Bhopal and not enter Jharkhand except for attending court proceedings.

It said they have grossly violated the bail conditions and had stayed in Bhopal hardly for a month.

Advocate Tapesh Kumar Singh, appearing for the Jharkhand government said there was gross violation of bail conditions by both the accused.

Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for Sao and Devi said they need sometime to file the reply.

The court posted the matter after the Diwali vacation and said in three weeks the reply should be filed.

The government in its application said both of them had been staying in Jharkhand and were not attending court proceedings.

It said several criminal cases were pending against the couple. The cases are at various stages, including at the stage of framing of charges, where their presence is needed, the Jharkhand government said.

The application said despite the apex court’s direction that they will attend court proceedings, they have not been attending it and as a result, cases are not moving forward.

The government has annexed details of 25 to 30 flights they have undertaken from Ranchi to Delhi, and their call details records to show that the Sao and Devi had violated the bail conditions.

The apex court had earlier termed as “some kind of joke” the charge framing order passed by a court in Jharkhand through instant messaging application WhatsApp.

It wondered how this kind of a “joke” was allowed to happen in a court of law in India.

A lower judge in Hazaribagh district had put the accused on trial by pronouncing the order framing charges against them through a ‘WhatsApp’ call.

Both the Sao and Devi, had challenged the order in apex court saying that the trial judge had on April 19 this year framed charges against them through a ‘WhatsApp’ call despite they raising objections to it.

The apex court took serious note of it and observed that this process cannot be allowed, and administration of justice cannot be allowed to be brought into disrepute.

The couple had sought transfer of their cases from Hazaribagh to New Delhi.

When, counsel for Jharkhand pointed out that Sao had been violating the bail condition imposed on him last year, the apex court asked him to file a separate plea seeking cancellation of his bail.

Both Devi and Sao were accused in the case relating to violent clashes between villagers and police in 2016 in which four persons were killed.

Sao had become a minister in the Hemant Soren government in August 2013.

Devi had led an agitation against NTPC authorities for their alleged attempt to forcefully evacuate villagers from Barkagaon without giving them due compensation or rehabilitation, According to police.

PTI

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