NEW DELHI: A retired public servant who is an accused in a coal block allocation scam case, was today taken to task by a special court for taking it "for a ride" by seeking bail without fulfiling the required legal conditions.
The observation came after the lawyer representing Vishwas Sawakhande, a retired Director of the Directorate of Geology and Mining in Maharashtra government, said they cannot furnish the surety bond, a condition imposed by court for release on bail.
At this juncture, Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar asked Sawakhande, "When did you receive the summons?"
Responding to this, the accused said, "on August 20."
"You received the summons on August 20 and today is September 4. You had two weeks time but neither your bail application was there in the morning nor the vakalatnama on your behalf was initially filed in the court.
"Now you are saying you have not come with any surety. Why are you compelling me to take you in custody and send you to jail," the judge told Sawakhande.
However, Sawakhande's counsel apologised to the court for the mistakes in the bail plea and non-filing of vakalatnama and said they would arrange the surety today itself.
"Are you making a mockery of the process? This is not the way. You cannot take the court for a ride," the judge said, adding, "Mr Sawakhande, you will sit in the courtroom and if your surety does not come today, you will go to jail."
However, Sawakhande was later released on bail after he furnished the surety bond.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in allocationof Lohara (East) coal block in Maharashtra to Nagpur-based Grace Industries Ltd (GIL).
Besides Sawakhande, the court also granted bail to former Coal Secretary H C Gupta, serving public servant K S Kropha, who was a former Joint Director in the Ministry of Coal and directors of accused firm GIL -- Mukesh Gupta and Seema Gupta.