The Delhi high court on Thursday reserved its order on the bail plea of Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh, who has been arrested for allegedly offering Rs. 14 crore bribe to the then Army chief VK Singh for clearing files pertaining to procurement of Tatra-all terrain vehicles.
The order has been reserved by a bench headed by Justice Pratibha Rani after hearing arguments advanced by counsel on behalf of Tejinder Singh and CBI.
"Who knows the practice better then this court. If an accused has not been arrested during the entire investigation and has root in the society, then he cannot be arrested after filing of charge sheet," former law minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for the jailed former Army officer, said.
Besides Sibal, a battery of lawyers including Geeta Luthra, Dayan Krishnan and Pramod K Dubey appeared for Tejinder Singh and sought bail for their client, saying he has been a man of integrity and should have been enlarged on bail by the trial court itself, where he appeared after receiving the summon on September 1.
The counsel for the CBI, however vehemently opposed the submissions of the accused saying, "the practice of granting bail on filing of charge sheet does not entitle an accused to be granted bail. The gravity of the offence alleged against the accused has to be considered."
The CBI also referred to the statements of the then Army chief Singh and the then defence minister AK Antony to support its submission that the allegation against Tejinder Singh were grave in nature.
Sibal, in its rejoinder argument, opposed the submissions of the counsel and referred to various Supreme Court judgements to drive home his point that an accused, who has been out during the investigation should not be arrested on filing of the charge sheet.
"Moreover, evidence presented to the court are documentary in nature," he said, adding the alleged offence took place on September 22, 2010 and it was reported after the delay of two years in 2012.