The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain the bail plea of sacked Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, accused in a 2012 shootout that killed liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, saying the charges against him were “grave”.
A vacation bench comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy said, “We are not interested in entertaining the petition. The charges against you are grave”.
The bench took strong note of the fact that Namdhari secured interim bail earlier on health grounds from the trial court, during the pendency of his regular bail plea in the Delhi High Court.
“It is strange. The trial court grants you interim bail when the bail petition is pending in the High Court,” it said.
In April this year, the trial court, which is currently recording prosecution evidence in the case, cancelled the Namdhari’s interim bail and sent him to jail.
The trial court, while cancelling the interim bail, had said the main complainant, Nandlal Mahto, turned hostile in the matter. Therefore, it could not be ruled out that Namdhari had threatened him or given him gratification to turn hostile, the court added.
The plea seeking cancellation of Namdhari’s interim bail was filed by Hardeep’s wife in the trial court.
Namdhari, the alleged main conspirator in the case, was granted interim bail on November 27 last year on medical grounds, which were extended from time to time.
The accused said he was suffering from Hepatitis C, blood pressure and heart problems, apart from depression and suicidal tendencies.
Ponty and Hardeep, who were allegedly involved in a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse here on November 17, 2012.
Namdhari was arrested on November 23, 2012.
Later, the remaining accused were caught. The trial court in July last year had framed charges under section 302 (murder) read with section 149 (offence committed by member of unlawful assembly) of the IPC against all the 21 accused, including Namdhari and his Personal Security Officer (PSO) Sachin Tyagi.