SC dismisses Rajasthan’s plea against anticipatory bail to civic official

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New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the Rajasthan government’s appeal challenging the state high court’s anticipatory bail to Jodhpur Development Authority’s former chairman Rajendra Singh Solanki and three others in cases of alleged corruption.

Upholding the Rajasthan High Court order granting anticipatory bail to Solanki and others, the vacation bench of Justice A.K.Sikri and Justice Deepak Gupta said that Solanki would stay away from Rajasthan for six months after his release.

However, Solanki, being Leader of Opposition in Jodhpur Municipal Corporation, would be allowed to come to the city during the session of the civic body.

While dismissing the appeal by Rajasthan government, the court noted that Solanki, in pursuance to the suspension of the High Court order by the top court on May 2, was in jail for over 20 days and has already undergone custodial interrogation.

The court described as “very serious” the allegation against Solanki, that in the last meeting of the JDA Board he chaired on September 23-24, 2013, nearly 500 projects worth Rs 250 crore were cleared even though they were not on the agenda of the meeting and brought before the Board “surreptitiously”.

The court directed Solanki to stay away from the state for six months as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he should not be allowed to remain in Rajasthan as all the contractors who benefitted from alleged acts of wrongdoing were absconding.

While noting that the reasons on which the high court had given anticipatory bail may not be “entirely correct”, the vacation bench however, refused to interfere with its order in respect of K.K. Mathur, Director (Technical), and engineers Arun Purohit and Jagdish Chhangan.

The court said that Solanki would be released subject to conditions imposed by the trial court.

Solanki and others were granted anticipatory bail by the Rajasthan High court on April 21 and the Rajasthan government appealed against it. In the first hearing on May 2, while issuing the notice, the apex court had suspended the high court’s interim order granting bail.

The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has registered four FIRs against Solanki and three others for alleged irregularities in four matters relating to development works, including violating rules pertaining to administrative and financial sanctions in 2013.

–IANS

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