Updated: July 7, 2021 7:42:40 pm
A sessions court in Mumbai granted anticipatory bail to three employees of Republic TV, including Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Siva Subramaniam, in the TRP fraud case. The three, including Shivendra Mundherkar and Ranjit Walter, were named as accused in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police last month.
Additional Sessions Judge Abhishri Deo directed that in the event of their arrest, the accused shall be released after executing bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each with one or two sureties. The court also asked them to cooperate with the probe and not to leave the country without its permission.
Expressing willingness to cooperate with the probe, advocate Niranjan Mundargi – appearing for the three accused – said that the probe is being carried out on the basis of documents and bank statements, most of which have been handed over to the police. The remaining can be submitted as and when demanded, he added.
After the judge inquired if the pre-arrest bail pleas would be maintainable, as the chargesheet has already been filed, Special Public Prosecutor Shishir Hiray – appearing for the Mumbai Police – opposed the pleas. He said the accused were not required to be arrested, as the probe was complete and a chargesheet has been filed. He added that the police would give 48-hour notice to the accused before arresting them.
Mundargi said that granting pre-arrest bail was necessary as it would then become easy to approach the magistrate for bail later because the police did not have a bar on arresting the accused despite filing of the chargesheet.
He added that as the accused were also booked under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC – punishment for which is beyond the purview and power assigned to a magistrate – they would have to approach the sessions court.
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