Stating that it would be moral and psychological suicide for the judiciary if the bail of self-styled godman Rampal was not cancelled, the amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) has argued for immediate orders for the same in the wake of open defiance of the judiciary by him in the recent past.
“Regardless of when the formal funeral takes place, it (judiciary) is as good as dead,” amicus curiae Anupam Gupta submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court, citing various instances of defiance of judiciary by Rampal.
The arguments in the case stretched for more than two hours on Tuesday before the high court bench of justice M Jeyapaul reserved the order.
The bail cancellation case pertains to a murder case registered against Rampal in 2006 in which he and 38 others are charged under various sections. One person had died and 57 others were injured after shots were fired from his Karontha ashram in Rohtak at villagers and Arya Samajis.
The bail was granted in 2008 by the HC. The process of bail cancellation was initiated following his defiance and avoiding court hearings in the contempt of court case being heard in the court.
He has not appeared in the past five hearings since August. The court on Monday issued non-bailable warrants (NBWs) against him for the third time in a row.
‘Fugitive of justice’
Arguing for bail cancellation, Gupta submitted that if Rampal’s bail was not cancelled, the execution order (pertaining to arrest in contempt case) would remain on paper only. Rampal would not appear in the trial given his and his followers’ conduct, he said, while calling him a “fugitive of justice”.
“The principal object of bail is to ensure presence of the accused at the trial. However liberal the judicial perspective of the bail might be, it necessarily presupposes that the accused must appear and cooperate and allow the trial to progress,” he stated.
‘Lack of faith’
He submitted that Rampal and his followers had proclaimed lack of faith in the judiciary and the judicial system and refused to cooperate with the trial as well as with judicial officers.
“The credibility of the judicial system in the region over which the court has powers will reduce to naught. His (Rampal’s) continued freedom continues to intimidate most principled and courageous officers. The HC hears bail pleas of thousands every day, it would not be able to face litigants and lawyers if it failed to assert the efficacy of the law over Rampal,” he submitted.
Counsel for Haryana submitted that if Rampal’s bail was not cancelled, it was feared that he won’t cooperate during conviction.
‘Concession not misused’
Defending his client, his counsel submitted that Rampal had not misused the concession (bail) granted by the court and further argued that the case at the trial court had not reached a stage where his absence could hamper the trial. He also submitted that there were no allegations of threatening by anybody in the case being tried.
Later, after hearing all sides, the HC reserved the order without any announcement about the date. The order is being expected before Friday, the next date of hearing, by which the state has to produce Rampal before the court.