Supreme Court cancels bail granted to ex-Jharkhand minister
The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled the bail granted to former Jharkhand agriculture minister Yogendra Sao for his unauthorized presence in the state, a sheer breach of the earlier bail conditions imposed on him.
In December 2017, the apex court had granted bail to Congress leader Sao and his MLA wife Nirmala Devi with a rider that the couple would not enter Jharkhand and stay in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. The court had allowed them to visit Jharkhand with prior permission from Bhopal SP for attending court or assembly proceedings, as the case may be.
Sao couple are accused in a 2016 criminal case lodged against them with Barkagaon police station in Hazaribag district. According to the FIR, it was alleged that Sao couple had been extorting the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) by instigating their supporters to stall the company’s ongoing mining activities.
On October 1, 2016, the MLA along with her supporters had staged a Dharna before the NTPC site at Chirudih village protesting company’s mining activities. When police interfered, the MLA’s supporters and villagers allegedly attacked the police personnel resulting in violent clash. The police had resorted to firing in which four people were killed.
A three-judge bench headed by justice SA Bobde passed the order in response to a petition moved by the state government for cancelling bail granted to Sao couple. It, however, didn’t find breach of bail condition on the part of legislator Nirmala Devi.
Turning down Devi’s request to allow her to stay in Patna instead of Bhopal, the bench maintained that the lawmaker could remain on bail with the same earlier rider. The bench also transferred the trial of 18 cases including the four against Devi from Hazaribag to Ranchi district court.
“Yogendra Sao, who was present in the court on Thursday, should surrender immediately or the state police should arrest him forthwith,” said advocate Tapesh Singh, representing the state government in the Supreme Court.
It was revealed that out of 206 days, Sao stayed in Bhopal only for 25 days and in Jharkhand for 153 days.
As per the records, Sao also failed to appear in Hazaribag court on many occasions.