SC judge recuses from hearing J'khand minister's bail plea

A bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra declined to hear the petition filed by Ekka and said that the matter be listed before another bench.

As soon as senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi stood up to argue the case on behalf of Ekka, Justice Misra expressed her reservation in hearing the case and recused herself.

Ekka had moved the apex court after the Jharkhand High Court had on February 4 rejected his bail plea and that of another former minister Harinarayan Rai.

Rai and Ekka, who had been ministers in the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government and Madhu Koda-led coalition, were arrested in 2009 after a social activist filed a PIL accusing them of amassing wealth more than their known source of income during their ministerial terms between 2005 and 2008.

Both the former ministers are in judicial custody since 2009. The High Court had held that if released, Ekka might try to tamper with evidences and influence witnesses crucial for the prosecution to establish the case against him.

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