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IRCTC scam: Delhi court declines CBI plea to cancel Tejashwi’s bail; tells RJD leader to ‘exercise caution’

The court said that Tejashwi's statements were “irresponsible but cannot be construed to be a threat when read in light of what was said prior to the referred portions of the statements”.

New Delhi: Bihar Dy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav leaves after appearing at a special CBI court in connection with the IRCTC scam case, on Tuesday, Oct 18, 2022. (PTI Photo)

A Delhi court on Tuesday refused to cancel the bail granted to Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the IRCTC hotels’ contract case, saying it did not find any specific ground to revoke the relief.

Special Judge Geetanjali Goel, while declining the CBI petition, however, asked the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader to “exercise caution” and avoid “unjust criticism” of the agency.

The CBI had moved the bail-cancellation application before the Special Judge at Rouse Avenue court, arguing that there was an attempt by the accused [Tejashwi] to portray the agency in bad light by saying “it worked under the influence of political parties”. The CBI alleged that Tejashwi also “used terms like ‘gunda-gardi’ and ‘maar-pitai’ against the central agency”.

It alleged that Tejashwi, in a press conference, “attempted to subvert the process of law and thwart the entire investigation by threatening CBI officers”.

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The court said that Tejashwi’s statements were “irresponsible but cannot be construed to be a threat when read in light of what was said prior to the referred portions of the statements”.

New Delhi: Bihar Dy CM and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at the party office after appearing at a special CBI court in connection with the IRCTC scam case, on Tuesday, Oct 18, 2022. (PTI Photo)

The court also agreed with Tejashwi’s lawyer, senior advocate Maninder Singh, that “the CBI had appropriate remedies available in this regard such as defamation, or if the officers felt threatened…to register an FIR…which was not done”.

Advocate DP Singh, who appeared for the CBI, submitted that the said “statements are not concerned to one case alone but form part of the larger design of the accused and are not only scandalous but also a clear attempt to prevent the trial from reaching its logical conclusion”.

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Tejashwi’s lawyer argued that during a CBI raid on August 24, a rumour was propagated that his client owned a mall in Gurgaon. “Tejashwi addressed a press conference to clarify that he did not own any mall in Gurugram,” the lawyer said, adding that his (Tejashwi’s) statements were misinterpreted and he did not threaten CBI officers and had only asked them to follow professional ethics.

The court had in October 2018 granted bail to Tejashwi after he appeared before it in pursuance to summons issued against him in the matter related to alleged irregularities in granting operational contract of two Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) hotels to a private firm when his father Lalu Prasad — who is the prime accused — was the railway minister.

First published on: 18-10-2022 at 12:59 IST
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