- Mar 24, 2009
HC judge: Union minister pressured me to grant bail to suspects - India - The Times of IndiaCHENNAI: In a stunning disclosure, a Madras High Court judge told an open court on Monday that a Union minister had called and tried to influence him to grant anticipatory bail to a medical student and his doctor-father in a CBI case concerning a forged marksheet.
Justice R Regupathi threatened to write to the government and the Prime Minister about the matter if the advocate appearing in the case failed to submit a written unconditional apology by Tuesday.
"A Union minister talked to me. He sought to influence me to release this petitioner on anticipatory bail," Justice Regupathi told startled advocates and officers in the court. He did not name the minister.
The matter relates to anticipatory bail pleas of S Kiruba Shridhar, a third-year MBBS student in a private medical college in Puducherry, and his father, C Krishnamurthy. The two have been booked by the CBI for allegedly using the services of a Pondicherry University official and a middleman to inflate marks.
The hearing began on Monday with Justice Regupathi saying he was not inclined to grant any relief and pointing out to their counsel that the pleas had already been rejected by him earlier on June 15. He said he would reject it this time as well. To this, the advocate complained that the judge was passing orders on the basis of the submission of prosecutors alone.
An enraged Justice Regupathi, noting that most of the orders passed by him since morning were in favour of the petitioners, said pressure was being exerted on him in this case. "A Union minister talked to me about the matter," he said. "You yourself know everything."
The judge said unless an unconditional apology was tendered, he would incorporate details of the conversation in his order.
He then referred the case to Chief Justice H L Gokhale with a request that the matter be posted before another bench for appropriate orders.
The CBI's case is that Kiruba Shridhar of Arubadai Veedu Medical College had failed his ophthalmology paper in the first two attempts. On the third and final attempt, he had got only nine out of 40 marks. With the help of a university section officer and a middleman, he had managed to get the original answer scripts replaced and inflated the marks to 16, which was the minimum pass mark, according to CBI.
The agency secured the original answer sheet that had been replaced by them. It also claimed to have found evidence to prove that the father paid off the culprits. While the university employee and the middleman were arrested in May 2009, the father-son duo are still at large. Investigations are on.