Apex court refuses bail plea of Ashok Todi

December 16th, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday denied bail to West Bengal industrialist Ashok Todi who is accused of driving his son-in-law Rizwanur Rahman to commit suicide.”We are not inclined to entertain the petition,” said the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam, refusing to grant bail to Todi.

The bench also refused to accede to a plea by Todi’s counsel Harish Salve for a direction to the Calcutta High Court to decide his bail plea before the winter vacation.

“We can’t give such a direction,” said the bench, adding it can only ask the high court to dispose of Todi’s bail plea expeditiously.

Todi approached the apex court for bail after the Calcutta High Court gave a split verdict on his bail plea and the case was referred to a third judge.

Salve told the apex court that his client’s bail plea has been hanging fire since long owing to the differences between the judges of the division bench of the high court on granting it.

Justice Amit Talukdar of the high court’s division bench was of the view that Todi should be granted bail as there was no reason to apprehend that he would influence witness and tamper with evidence.

The other judge, Justice P.S. Banerjee, was against granting bail owing to the allegations that millions of rupees had changed hands for separating Rizwanur from Todi’s daughter Priyanka. Rizwanur’s mother Kishwar Jahan too opposed Todi’s bail plea in the high court.

Ashok Todi’s brother Pradip Todi was also denied bail by the Calcutta sessions court. Anil Sarogi, Ashok Todi’s brother-in-law who had surrendered in the designated Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Dec 8 on the apex court directions, was granted bail.

The CBI, which probed the case on the high court order, has indicted Todi brothers, their brother-in law Sarogi, and another accomplice Mohammed Moiuddin for driving Rizwanur to commit suicide.

Rizwanur allegedly committed suicide a month after his marriage to Priyanka. His body was found near railway tracks Sept 21 last year.

Seven people have been indicted in the case, including three police officers - former deputy commissioner (detective department) Ajoy Kumar, former assistant commissioner anti-rowdy section Sukanti Chakraborty and Krishnendu Das.

They have been charged with abetment to suicide, criminal intimidation and conspiracy.

Ashok Todi surrendered before the CBI court Dec 1.

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