The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to a medical practitioner, who also claimed to be a whistleblower in the sensational Vyapam scam, in a case of alleged violence during a protest in Madhya Pradesh.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha took note of the submissions made by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Vivek Tankha that accused Anand Rai, an ophthalmologist, is in jail for the last 60 days in connection with a criminal case lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“This man is an ophthalmologist. He says he is also the whistleblower in the Vyapam scam. The allegation is that he was part of a mob which attacked the (district) collector. How long will you keep him in jail?” the bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared in the matter on behalf of the Madhya Pradesh government.
It also took note of the fact that the chargesheet has not been filed by police in the case and granted bail to Anand Rai, subject to the conditions to be imposed by the trial court.
“To remove the impression, there were four-five FIRs against him prior to this so-called whistleblower blew the whistle,” Mr Mehta said.
Kapil Sibal, assisted by lawyer Sumeer Sodhi, said the accused was kept in solitary confinement during his judicial custody. The submission was refuted by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The law officer said Anand Rai, being a government employee, be directed not to take part in such dharna as one of the bail conditions.
Anand Rai was arrested on November 15, following the registration of an FIR. The trial court and the high court had dismissed his bail pleas.
Vikas Pargi of Ratlam district in Madhya Pradesh had lodged a complaint against Rai and others in relation to a protest during which stones were allegedly pelted on a convoy of the local MP, a few MLAs and the collector, who had gone to attend events in the memory of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
A security person of the collector had suffered injuries in the incident, the FIR said.
Earlier, Anand Rai had played an active role in the unearthing of the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, which was later probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).