Supreme Court directs ex-Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao to surrender before Ranchi court by Apr 15

The Supreme Court Friday directed former Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao to surrender before a court in Ranchi by April 15 in cases related to rioting and inciting of violence.

A bench headed by Justice S A Bobde said that Sao will have to surrender by Monday.

Advocate Tapesh Kumar Singh, appearing for Jharkhand, said that Sao can surrender before the concerned trial court in Ranchi.

He said all the case records have been transferred to Ranchi in compliance with the apex court order.

The apex court order came on a plea of Sao seeking clarification of the order on the place of his surrender.

The top court had on April 4, trashed Sao’s plea seeking to campaign for the Congress in the current Lok Sabha polls and cancelled his bail, saying he has violated the bail conditions.

It had transferred the trial of 18 cases against Sao and his wife Nirmala Devi to Ranchi from Hazaribagh district in Jharkhand.

Sao became a minister in the Hemant Soren-led UPA government in Jharkhand in 2013. He is an accused in over a dozen cases of rioting and instigation of violence.

Both Sao and Devi were granted bail on December 15, 2017, by the top court and directed to stay in Bhopal as a bail condition.

They were allowed to visit Jharkhand only for court hearings under police protection after intimating the Bhopal superintendent of police.

It was found that Sao left Bhopal on several occasions without any intimation to local authorities despite the court directions and his presence in Jharkhand during the corresponding period was not disputed, the court had earlier said.

SC asks Jharkhand HC to probe ex-minister’s bail order

SC asks Jharkhand HC to probe ex-minister's bail order
SC asks Jharkhand HC to probe ex-minister’s bail order

The Supreme Court has asked the acting chief justice of the Jharkhand High Court to conduct an enquiry into the issue of contradictory orders by it in the bail application of former Jharkhand minister Yogendra Sao in a case of violence related to alleged land acquisition.

A bench of justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said Acting Chief Justice D N Patel may appoint an independent officer to look into the alleged irregularities, noting it was a “serious matter” which could “bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.

The top court asked Justice Patel to get an enquiry done into the circumstances under which the contradictory orders were passed, how they got uploaded in the high court website and later removed.

It said that a report shall be submitted to the apex court in a sealed cover within four weeks with appropriate comments of acting chief justice, if any.

The apex court’s direction came on a plea of Congress legislator from Barkagaon in Jharkhand Nirmala Devi against the rejection of bail order by the high court in a case related to violence in the constituency.

The bench noted that orders passed by the high court in the two bail applications of Nirmala Devi and Yogendera Sao were in two parts each.

It said that in the case of Nirmala Devi the parts of the order had similar reasons and concluded that her bail plea be rejected.

While in the case of her husband Yogendra Sao, the first part contained reasons to deny him bail and was signed by the judge who gave the order, it said.

However, in the second part, the judge had given reasons for grant of bail, the top court said.

Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for Nirmala Devi, said that the second part of both the orders were initially uploaded on the website of the high court but subsequently removed and were not there on the website.

“We consider this to be a serious matter and having a tendency to bring the administration of justice into disrepute,” the apex court said.

“We request the chief justice of the Jharkhand High Court to conduct an enquiry, or to have it conducted by a suitable independent officer, into the orders and determine how the above orders came into existence and the state in which they were uploaded on the website and removed,” the bench said.

Both Nirmala Devi and Sao were accused in the case pertaining to violent clashes between villagers and police in 2016 in which four persons were killed.

Nirmala Devi had led the agitation against National Thermal Power Corporation authorities for their alleged attempt to forcefully evacuate villagers from Barkagaon without giving them due compensation or rehabilitation.

( Source – PTI )