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.
The Bombay High Court had on August 6 cancelled the bail granted to the Maharashtra minister by a district court in the multi-crore Jalgaon housing scandal, following which, his party NCP had sought his resignation.
Deokar, who is also the Guardian Minister of Jalgaon district, was granted bail on May 21 by Additional District Judge N R Kshirsagar.
However, Additional Superintendent of Police Ishu Sindhu, who is in charge of the probe, had opposed the bail. One Premanand Jadhav and two others had then challenged the decision before the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High court.
The high court bench had also rejected Deokar's plea that he be granted four weeks' time to appeal in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, NCP had sought Deokar's resignation after his bail was cancelled.
Jalgaon police had sought government permission to prosecute Deokar in the case and had even arrested him on May 21 for his alleged involvement in the 15-year old mass housing scam.
SC Stays HC Order Cancelling Bail of Maharashtra Minister
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