Sanjeev Aggarwal, one of the defendants in the 2017 Chhattisgarh coal allocation fraud case, had his bail revoked by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Tuesday because he approached a witness. AES Chhattisgarh Energy Pvt Ltd. v. CBI
The accused broke the primary bail condition, which forbade him from approaching the prosecution witnesses in any way, according to Special Judge Arun Bhardwaj.
“The court is only made aware of a very tiny percentage of instances where witnesses are coerced or intimidated into testifying. Hostile witnesses frequently cause charges to fail. The court should not hesitate to take the drastic decision of canceling the accused’s bail when an obvious attempt to reach a witness is brought to their knowledge.” as per the judge’s directive.
The judge went on to say that just the very tip of the iceberg of these instances reach the courts since witnesses seldom tell them about the accused’s attempts to approach them.
“No tolerance is feasible in these situations because they go to the core of the execution of criminal justice. When deciding on such an application, the court must take into account not only the hardship that the accused will experience by losing his freedom but also the hardship that society as a whole will experience if such incidents are ignored or are simply dismissed by issuing a warning or imposing a fine “Observed Judge Bharadwaj.
The court was considering a request from the CBI to revoke Aggarwal’s October 13, 2017, bail award. The CBI charged Aggarwal, the director of the company AES Chhatisgarh Energy, with violating Sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) in the 2017 coal allocation fraud case.
The central agency emphasised that the accused had called a witness on July 31 of this year who worked for AES Chhattisgarh Energy.
The witness claims that the accused phoned him and initially kept his name a secret. Later, Aggarwal exposed his name and informed the witness that someone from the company’s US division would like to speak with him about anything.
The court noted the occurrence and then requested Aggarwal’s answer. He acknowledged contacting the witness and offered the court an “unconditional apology.”
The accused was represented by attorney Tanveer Ahmed Mir.
Senior Attorney RS Cheema served as a special public prosecutor for the CBI.