NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today refused to entertain the bail plea of sacked Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, accused in a 2012 shootout here that killed liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, saying charges against him were "grave".
"We are not interested in entertaining the petition. The charges against you are grave," a vacation bench comprising Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy said. The apex court took strong note of the fact that Namdhari earlier secured interim bail on health grounds from the trial court during the pendency of his regular bail plea in the Delhi High Court.
"It is strange. The trial court grants you interim bail when the bail petition is pending in the High Court," it said. Namdhari, in his plea before the apex court, said he was not keeping well and hence be enlarged on bail during the pendency of trial.
In April this year, the trial court, which is currently recording prosecution evidence in the case, has cancelled the interim bail of Namdhari and sent him to jail. The trial court, while cancelling the interim bail, had said the main complainant, Nandlal Mahto, had turned hostile in the matter and it could not be ruled out that Namdhari had threatened him or given him gratification to turn hostile.
The plea seeking cancellation of Namdhari's interim bail was filed by wife of Hardeep in the trial court. Namdhari, the alleged main conspirator in the case, was granted interim bail on November 27 last year on medical grounds which was extended time to time. The accused had said that he was suffering from various ailments like hepatitis C, blood pressure and heart problems apart from depression and having suicidal tendencies.
Ponty and Hardeep, who were allegedly involved in a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse here on November 17, 2012. Subsequently, Namdhari was arrested on November 23, 2012. Later, the remaining accused were apprehended.
The trial court in July last year had framed charges under section 302 (murder) read with section 149 (offence committed by member of unlawful assembly) of the IPC against all the 21 accused, including Namdhari and his Personal Security Officer (PSO) Sachin Tyagi.