SC grants bail to former Jharkhand ministers in DA



New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted provisional bail to two former Jharkhand ministers Enos Ekka and Harinarayan Rai, arrested in 2009 for allegedly possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

They were ministers when Madhu Koda was the chief minister in the UPA government between 2006 and 2008. Koda and his another former cabinet colleague Bhanu Pratap Sahi are still in judicial custody. Another ex-minister Kamlesh Singh recently got bail.

Ekka and Rai were granted bail by a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai, who said the conditions for enlarging them on bail will be given in the order. They had filed the appeals against the February 4, 2011 judgement of the Jharkhand High Court rejecting their bail pleas on the ground that they might tamper with evidence and influence witnesses, crucial for the prosecution to establish the case against them.

The apex court on March 18, 2011 had refused them bail saying the CBI was still probing the case and there were serious allegations against him.

Rai and Ekka, who had been ministers in erstwhile BJP-led NDA government and Madhu Koda-led coalition, were arrested in 2009 after a social activist filed a PIL before the Jharkhand High Court accusing them of amassing wealth more than their known source of income during their ministerial tenures between 2005 and 2008.

Both the former ministers are in judicial custody since Aug 17, 2009 when vigilance sleuths arrested them.

PTI