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‘No reasons to interfere’: SC on HC order granting bail to NSE’s ex-MD Ramkrishna

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by the CBI challenging a Delhi High Court order granting bail to Chitra Ramkrishna, a former managing director of the National Stock Exchange, in the co-location scam case.

A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M. Trivedi refused to allow an appeal by the CBI challenging the high court order. “We find no reasons to interfere with the bail order,” said the bench, adding that all questions of law are left open.

It clarified that the observations made in the high court’s order will be construed only for default bail and not affect the merits of the trial.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the CBI, submitted that the high court’s order was absolutely misconceived and the law on default bail is very clear. He added that bail can be granted if the charge sheet is not filed within 60 days of arrest.

On February 9, the high court granted bail to Ramkrishna in a money laundering case related to the alleged illegal phone tapping of employees, saying that, prima facie, there are reasonable grounds to believe she is not guilty.

In March last year, the CBI had arrested Ramkrishna and she was granted bail by the high court in the co-location case on September 28 last year. She was arrested in the ED case on July 14 last year.

On February 9, the high court said: “Prima facie there are reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant is not guilty of the offence and she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.”

The Enforcement Directorate in September last year, had filed a charge sheet in the Rouse Avenue courts in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to phone tapping of NSE employees between 2009 and 2017.

The charge sheet was filed against NSE’s Ramkrishna – who was in custody for almost seven months in the matter, her predecessor Ravi Narain, and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey.

Ramkrishna, who is already on bail in the CBI’s case, was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and two sureties of the like amount and certain conditions like joining the investigation and not leaving the country.

The high court also observed: “In the present case there is no allegation that the applicant has derived or obtained any property or proceeds of crime. Additionally, there is no allegation or evidence produced before me to suggest that the applicant has concealed, possessed, used, projected or claimed any proceeds of crime as untainted property.”

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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