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Allow Bhushan Steel ex-CFO two video conferences with lawyers: HC to Tihar Jail officials

Johari, in his plea, has said that he has moved a SLP against a Delhi High Court order of January 27 denying him bail and the matter is likely to be listed for hearing in the apex court on July 6.

Published: 03rd July 2020 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2020 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi High court

Delhi High court

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the officials of Tihar Jail here to provide Bhushan Steel ex-CFO Nittin Johari, arrested by the SFIO for alleged fraudulent activities, two video conferences with his lawyers to consult them in relation to his special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court.

Johari, in his plea, has said that he has moved a SLP against a Delhi High Court order of January 27 denying him bail and the matter is likely to be listed for hearing in the apex court on July 6.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru, as an interim measure, directed the Tihar Jail officials to provide him with two video conferences before July 6 and listed the matter for hearing on July 10.

Johari, in his petition, has sought two weekly meetings of half an hour each with his lawyers and family via video conference from Central Jail No. 8 in Tihar.

He has contended that under the Delhi Prison Rules two interviews per week with family/ relatives/ friends/ legal advisors ordinarily for not more than half an hour each is allowed.

However, due to COVID-19, the in-person interviews have been suspended for more than three months and he has been unable to meet his wife and two children or his lawyers during this period.

Delhi government standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, appearing for Tihar Jail, told the court that the issue of allowing prisoners to meet family and lawyers via video conferencing was already pending before another bench of the high court.

Mehra also told the court that Johari will be provided one video conference to consult his lawyers in connection with the SLP.

The high court, however, directed that he be provided two video conferences.

In his plea, Johari has also claimed that he had made a request on June 30 to the jail officials to permit him a meeting via video conference with his lawyers and his wife, but no written reply was received and he was orally informed that his request has been rejected.

Johari was arrested by SFIO on May 2, 2019 for alleged fraudulent activities, including filing false documents with various banks.

SFIO had said Johari was managing the affairs of Bhushan Steel and was looking after raising of funds from banks and financial institutions and was also one of the signatories to the financial statements of the company till fiscal year 2016-17.

SFIO had said that during the probe it found there were several alleged fraudulent practices at the company, including manipulations of accounts and financial statements during the term of Johari.

 

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