Experts question SC order on Teesta's anticipatory bail plea
Terms such as "unusual", "blunder," "non-commentable," "surprise" and "unfair" were used by experts on the Supreme Court's decision to refer to a larger bench the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad and her husband in the case of alleged embezzlement of funds.
New Delhi: Terms such as "unusual", "blunder," "non-commentable," "surprise" and "unfair" were used by experts on the Supreme Court's decision to refer to a larger bench the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad and her husband in the case of alleged embezzlement of funds.
Teesta's lawyer Aparna Bhat herself was surprised why the "simple" matter of anticipatory bail has been referred to a large bench.
Some experts opined there was no need to refer it to a larger bench as the law is already settled on the issue of anticipatory bail by the Constitution Bench of the apex court.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal felt that there was nothing to comment on it as judges have their discretion.
"Though there was nothing to refer it to a three-judge bench but I cannot comment on it," he said.
Justice S N Dhingra, retired judge of Delhi High Court, however, said the apex court "jumped" into the issue in view of the profile of the accused involved in the case.
He said he wished that "the apex court should have shown same concern to every poor of the country as their appeals and bails keep pending for years".
"Supreme Court exists only for rich and influential class. It does not exist for poor whose appeals and bail applications are pending for years.
"Why is SC so interested in bail matters. It should be left to high courts and trial courts. Why SC jumps in when it comes to any VIP or influential person. Many people rot in jails for years, where is their liberty? Does the rich class only has liberty," Justice Dhingra said.
Keeping herself away from the debate of rich and poor, Bhat, who has been the advocate in Teesta's cases in the apex court, said, "I am just surprised that the matter is referred to a larger bench".
"This bench itself should have done (decided the anticipatory bail)," she said on the order of the bench comprising Justices Dipak Mishra and Adarsh Kumar Goel, which came out with the order after reserving it for a month.
"It is not easy to engage lawyers in the Supreme Court. It is too much for them (Teesta and her husband Javed Anand)," she said, adding "it is not fair".
Senior woman advocate Rebecca John said, "its an unusual order but I do not know the circumstances so I cannot comment on it. I do not see where is the ambiquity to refer this issue to a larger bench. I would say its unusual that the matter has been referred to larger bench," she said.
She also said that the issue of anticipatory bail has already been settled by the Constitution Bench of the apex court.
Advocate M S Khan, who has been representing several terrorists including co-founder of banned Indian Mujahideen Yasin Bhatkal, Abdul Karim Tunda and gangster Abu Salem, termed the order as a "blunder" and said there was nothing to refer it to the larger bench.
"Is it because some senior advocates have appeared in the matter and a socialite was involved. Such order should not have been passed," Khan said.