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|October 14, 1997||
SC upholds anticipatory bail for Tata Tea's top executives
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the plea of the Assam government seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted by Bombay high court to three senior executives of Tata Tea who are allegedly involved in financing terrorist activities in the state.
The plea was rejected by a division bench comprising Justice M K Mukherjee and Justice K T Thomas while issuing notices on three special leave petitions by the state government against the impunged high court order.
The court fixed October 20 for the hearing of the special leave petitions.
The three Tata executives who were granted anticipatory bail by the high court are managing director R K Krishnakumar, Executive Director S M Kidwai, and community development and welfare manager Dr Brojen Gogoi.
Earlier, two former additional solicitor generals, K T B Tulsi and Santosh Hegde, argued for staying the high court orders stating that the arrest of the three Tata executives was urgently required for interrogation.
The charges against them were very serious as they had been accused of criminal activities like financing the United Liberation Front of Asom and Bodo militants and also keeping huge arsenals of deadly weapons in the tea gardens. It was necessary to recover these arms and the anticipatory bails granted to them was coming in the way of the state government.
Tulsi submitted that the high court had acted contrary to the well-settled principles of grant of anticipatory bails.
Senior counsel Ram ,Jethmalani appearing for Tata Tea, protested against the filing of a document in the court by the Assam government containing allegations against Tata Tea executives requiring their immediate arrest without furnishing a copy of the same to his client.
Jethmalani alleged that despite despite anticipatory bail granted to the three Tata executives, the Assam government arrested one of their employee for interrogation.
Jethmalani wanted an urgent hearing of the case as the high court order had given liberty to the Assam government for approaching it for the cancellation of anticipatory bail after four days of the orders, and which period had already expired.
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