NALCO chief's wife, two others get bail in graft case

The two others, who were granted bail by special CBI Judge Sanjeev Jain, included a Bhatia group of industry official Ratan Pal Singh and Anita Bajaj, the wife of B L Bajaj, an alleged conduit in the bribery case.

The court granted them bail saying the trio are unlikely to flee from justice and tamper with evidence.

Chandani Srivastava and Anita Bajaj were granted bail as per provisions under 437 (1) of the CrPC for leniency in grant of bail to women or ailing persons.

The court ordered release of the trio on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties of the same amount.

The judge noted Bhatia's counsel Rahul Mehra's plea that the accused cannot be kept in custody indefinitely.

"Nothing substantial has been argued from the side of the prosecution to convince that the applicant accused is in a position to tamper with the evidence or flee from justice," the court said.

CBI opposed the bail pleas saying some of the accused are yet to be arrested and the allegation against the accused are serious in nature and they should, therefore, not be granted bail.

After hearing their bail pleas, the court noted that the chargesheet has already been filed and they are no more required for investigation.

"In view of proviso to section 437(1) where special concession is provided for women, bail be granted," the judge said.

Granting bail to Chandani, the judge said "keeping in view the fact that she is a woman of 55 years of age, in custody since February 26 and that the chargesheet has been filed, cognisance has been taken and that she is not required in further investigation, she be granted bail".

NALCO chief Srivatava, his wife Chandani, B L Bajaj and his wife Anita were arrested on February 25 after CBI recovered about 10 kg of gold bricks and jewellery valued at around Rs 2.13 crore as also Rs 30 lakh in cash from their possession.

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