The Bombay High Court’s order allowing bail application of Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan has caused strong resentment among a section of lawyers who had filed an application and opposed the early hearing of the case.
After the Sessions Court rejected the bail application of Aryan on October 20, his lawyers moved Bombay High Court and got the matter listed for October 26. Upset with the out-of-turn hearing, when bail applications of hundreds of others have been pending for months, lawyers had opposed it strongly.
A social worker Prakash Ramanalal Vakhariya had filed the application with support from the lawyers’ community. Senior advocate Subhash Jha argued the case for Vakhariya and demanded that the Aryan case should not have been given priority over those who had filed bail applications in other matters prior to him.
Now, after Aryan has been granted bail, these lawyers allege that the High Court didn’t take up their application. “I had mentioned the matter to the court and the hon’ble judge had promised he would give me time to hear it. But he never entertained me at all,” Jha said.
Anand S Jondhale, a Supreme Court advocate who had supported the petition and was present in the court during the hearing, said, “I am appalled to read the bail order of the Hon’ble High Court. The order says that no one was present in the court to argue the application.”
Another lawyer Sunil Lala added, “This is factually incorrect. We were there in the court the whole day. We even told the judge that we were present and he should hear us too.
These lawyers had opposed the out of turn hearing of the VIP cases. According to reports, 1,96,861 bail applications have been pending for days, months and years depending on cases before the various high courts in India.
Aryan’s case was not the first one in which a high court granted an out-of-turn date for hearing. Outlook has earlier reported how TV anchor Arnab Goswami's case was also listed and decided on priority in the Supreme Court.
Vakhariya’s application highlighted the disparity between cases as it said, “…accused in all those cases were languishing in jail for a fairly long time, however, this hon’ble court was pleased to not entertain the request…”
“The applicant (Aryan Khan) doesn’t deserve special treatment merely because he can afford requisition of service of senior advocate even for seeking circulation. The message would be sent otherwise is that there are differences in the standard for rich and poor,” it added.