New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to arrest former MP and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav within four weeks in connection with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) MLA Ajit Sarkar murder case.
The apex court expressed surprise over why Yadav had not been arrested after three months of his bail being cancelled in connection with the case in May this year.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and A K Patnaik pronounced the verdict and said the High Court``s decision amounted to contempt of the apex court, which had clearly restrained any court in the country from granting bail to Yadav.
"It is a matter of regret that despite clear order passed by this court in 2007 that no bail should be granted by any court, the High Court has gone ahead and granted bail," the bench observed while allowing an appeal filed by the CBI seeking cancellation of the bail.
The CBI had on March 26 approached the apex court challenging the order of the Patna High Court that had granted bail to Yadav.
The Patna High Court had earlier on February 18, 2009 granted bail to the 43-year-old RJD leader undergoing life imprisonment in the murder case.
The Supreme Court said that it is general rule that when the apex court rejects the bail, the High Courts or the subordinate courts cannot in any manner grant bail to the accused or the convicts.
Similarly, when the High Court rejects a bail, the Sessions courts or the magistrates do not have any power to grant bail, it said.
But in the present case, the bench regretted that the High Court granted bail to Yadav despite an injunction by the apex court.
Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval complained that the High Court granted bail to the RJD leader without passing any reasoned order after initially rejecting his two bail applications.
A special CBI court in Patna had earlier on February 14, 2008, awarded life imprisonment to Pappu Yadav.
The court also awarded life imprisonment to Rajan Tiwari and Anil Yadav in connection with the case.
Sarkar, who had a feud with Yadav over issues related to farm labourers, was shot dead in Bihar``s Purnea District on June 14, 1998.