Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CBI, HYDERABAD v. B. RAMARAJU & ORS. [2010] INSC 906 (26 October 2010)


C.B.I., HYDERABAD Appellant(s) :
B. RAMARAJU AND ORS. Respondent(s)

WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2073 OF 2010 (Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.7844/2010) O R D E R Leave granted.

We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length.

This order will dispose of all these criminal appeals filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against the orders dated 20.7.2010 and 18.08.2010 passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad by which the respondents herein (accused Nos.1, 2, 3, 7, 8 & 9) were granted bail.

2 According to the allegations of the appellant, the respondents - accused are involved in one of the greatest corporate scams of the commercial world.

It has caused a financial storm throughout the country and the world over. Lakhs of shareholders and others have been duped and the corporate credibility of the nation has received a serious setback. We are deliberately refraining from making a detailed observation regarding the conduct of the respondents - accused because the trial is still pending and we do not want the trial to be prejudiced in any manner.

Ordinarily this Court would be slow in cancelling the bail already granted by the High Court but in the extraordinary facts and circumstances of these cases, we are of the considered view that the impugned orders passed by the High Court granting bail to the respondents, cannot be sustained in law and the same are accordingly set aside.

The respondents - accused are directed to 3 surrender on or before 10th November, 2010, otherwise the appellants shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law.

We are informed that charges have been framed on 25th October, 2010 and trial is scheduled to commence with effect from 2nd November, 2010. In these circumstances, we deem it appropriate to direct the Trial Court to take up the case on day- to-day basis and conclude the trial of this case as expeditiously as possible, in any event, on or before 31st July, 2011.

The Trial Court would avoid granting any undue adjournments, unless it becomes absolutely imperative.

The Trial Court is directed to decide the case without being influenced by any observations made by the High Court or by this Court in this order.

The parties are directed to examine only material and most essential witnesses and fully cooperate with the Trial Court.

4 The accused shall be produced before the Trial Court on time, on every date of hearing, unless exempted by the orders of the Court.

The High Court of Andhra Pradesh is requested not to transfer the notified judicial officer until the trial is concluded.

In case, the trial is not concluded for any reason before 31st July, 2011, the respondents would be at liberty to approach the Trial Court for grant of bail. We have no doubt that the concerned Court would decide the bail application, if filed, expeditiously in accordance with law.

With these observations and directions these appeals are disposed of.

.....................J (DALVEER BHANDARI) .....................J (DEEPAK VERMA) New Delhi;

October 26, 2010.

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