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Petro-gate: Court gives final opportunity to argue on bail

Delhi high court

New Delhi: A Delhi high court today gave a final opportunity to the five corporate executives arrested in the Petroleum Ministry documents leak case to advance arguments on their bail pleas on April 27 after they pleaded that the hearing be deferred due to a lawyers’ strike.

The bail pleas of the five accused — Shailesh Saxena of Reliance Industries Ltd, Vinay Kumar of Essar, Rishi Anand of Reliance ADAG, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy and Cairns India’s K K Nayak — were listed for hearing today.

As soon as the matter was called for hearing, the counsel appearing for the accused sought an adjournment saying that they would advance the arguments on April 27 as the lawyers’ body of all the six district courts in Delhi was observing strike.

Lawyers in district courts are observing strike till April 28 against the delay in tabling in Parliament an amended bill regarding enhancement of pecuniary jurisdiction of trial courts.

During the hearing, the prosecutor opposed the submissions of defence counsel, saying the arguments should be heard today itself.

“I object to it. If they (accused) can argue on April 27 then why they cannot argue today. There is a strike today and it would continue till April 28. What difference it makes if they will argue today,” the prosecutor said.

At this juncture, the defence counsel told Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kapoor that they were seeking time till April 27 only as the strike might be called off by then.

“We will argue on April 27 irrespective of the strike. We are seeking adjournment till Monday (April 27) only,” the lawyers said adding that on the last date of hearing, the arguments were adjourned as the prosecutor had sought time to go through the charge sheet filed in the case.

Later, the court fixed the matter for hearing bail pleas on April 27 and said that it would be the final opportunity to advance the remaining arguments.

Crime Branch of Delhi Police has chargesheeted 13 arrested accused, including these five, in the case.

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