Observing that it would not like to commit another "mistake", the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an anticipatory bail plea of controversial RJD MP and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law Sadhu Yadav who is facing a warrant of arrest in a forgery case.
A Bench of Justice SB Sinha and Justice Markandeya Katju, asked him to approach the trial court for a regular bail. Now Sadhu has only two options - surrender before the trial court or be arrested by the state police, as he no more enjoyed protection from arrest.
He is accused of forging certain documents in connection with the sale and purchase of a vehicle in his bid to divert Bihar flood relief scam booty.
The court even observed that it was part of a huge racket aimed at converting the black money generated by the scam into white.
On behalf of Sadhu, senior counsel Sushil Kumar submitted that the forgery case was an offshoot of the flood relief scam case and since he had already been granted anticipatory bail by the apex court in the main case, he was entitled to a similar relief in this case too.
Rejecting his plea, the Bench, however, said, "we committed a mistake. We do not want to repeat it."
The original owner of the vehicle in question, S R Raina had told a Patiala House Court here that he never sold his vehicle as it was purchased by him with a loan from ICICI Bank, Connaught Place and the total outstanding loan including interest was Rs 9,84,142.
During the investigation police had claimed to have recovered Rs 6 lakh from Sadhu which was suspected to be the bribe money he allegedly received from Santosh Kumar Jha, a co-accused in the flood relief scam. Sadhu, however, told the investigator that he had not taken any bribe, and the money recovered from him was the price of the vehicle he had sold to Jha.
During vigilance inquiry the papers of the vehicle were found forged and these did not have any no-objection certificate either from the Delhi Government or the ICICI Bank to which the vehicle had been hypothecated.
Sadhu is one of the accused in the Rs 13.5 crore Bihar flood relef scam case in which former Patna District Magistrate Gautam Goswami is the main accused.