New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought CBI's response on a plea by Congress leader Rasheed Masood, who was disqualified from Rajya Sabha after being sentenced to four years imprisonment in a graft case, against rejection of his bail petition by the Delhi High Court.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant issued notice to the probe agency on the plea of Masood, 68, who had become the first MP to lose his seat after the Supreme Court's ruling on disqualification of convicted lawmakers.
The former Rajya Sabha lawmaker, in his plea filed through lawyer Archit, sought bail on various grounds including that he is acutely diabetic and taking insulin several times a day besides other medicines for his ailments.
He has challenged the order of the High Court which refused to grant him bail on November 14, last year during the pendency of his appeal against the conviction in the graft case.
"Without expressing any opinion on the merit of the case, lest it would adversely affect the final outcome of the appeal, needless to say the allegations against the appellant (Masood) are very serious in nature in as much as the genuine candidates were deprived of the medical seats because of the appellant in conspiracy with co-accused," the High Court had said.
The leader had, before the High Court, submitted that the trial was going on against him for the past 17 years.
Masood has also challenged the trial court's verdict convicting him and sentencing him to a four-year jail term.
He was held guilty by the trial court in September 2013 of fraudulently nominating undeserving candidates to MBBS seats allotted to Tripura in medical colleges across the country from the central pool as Health Minister in the National Front government of 1990.
The trial court had also imposed a fine of Rs 60,000 on him.
Masood's conviction and sentencing was the first case after the apex court judgement that struck down a provision in the Representation of the People Act, under which incumbent MPs and MLAs could avoid disqualification till pendency of the appeal against conviction in a higher court.
Masood was held guilty of offences under the Prevention
of Corruption Act and IPC sections 120B(criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery). He was, however, acquitted of the charge under Section 471 IPC (using as genuine a forged document).
Besides Masood, the trial court had awarded four-year jail terms each to two other public servants - Gurdial Singh, a former IPS officer, and retired IAS official Amal Kumar Roy who was the then secretary of Tripura Chief Minister.
The court had also given one-year imprisonment to nine students in the case. They were released on bail to file an appeal against their conviction and sentence before the superior court.
The nine students, who had fraudulently got admission in the medical colleges, were convicted for cheating. Two of them, including Masood's nephew, were juvenile at the time of the offence and their case had been transferred to the Juvenile Justice Board on January 25, 2007.
The then Tripura Chief Minister Majumdar and the then Health Minister Kashi Ram Reang were also accused in the case. They passed away during the pendency of the trial.
Masood had between 1990-91 illegally and fraudulently, in conspiracy with the then resident commissioner of Tripura, Gurdial Singh, nominated his nephew, another juvenile and Sachidanand Dwivedi to seats allocated from central pool for students of Tripura.
Sachidanand has also been held guilty for conspiracy, cheating, forgery for purpose of cheating, and under the provisions of PC Act.
CBI had said in the charge sheet that Tripura does not have any medical college of its own.