SC stays Bombay HC order cancelling bail of Maha. minister

The Supreme Court today stayed a Bombay High Court order which had cancelled the bail granted to Maharashtra Transport Minister Gulabrao Baburao Deokar allegedly involved in a Rs 24 crore Jalagaon Municipal Council scandal.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Jasti Chelameswar stayed the August 6 order of the high court after senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi and counsel Aniket Nikam, appearing for the minister, submitted that the high court had passed an erroneous order and the minister had no involvement in the alleged scandal.

The apex court passed the order after the senior counsel made an impromptu mention of the matter before the bench.

The scandal relates to Gharkul Yojna Scheme relating to construction of 11,424 tenements to rehabilitate slum dwellers spread over seven wards in the municipal limits. It was alleged that about Rs 24 crore from the public exchequer was misappropriated by various persons, including Deokar, in executing the project.

The police had registered cases against 46 persons, including the minister, for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery and various other offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Deokar and 19 other co-accused ex-councillors were granted bail by a sessions court.

However, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court had cancelled the bail to the minister, following apprehension that he would tamper with the evidence and interfere with the further investigation.

Charge sheet was filed in the case against four of the main accused, by the police, on April 25. 

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