HC refuses anticipatory bail to BCI VC Raj

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused anticipatory bail to Bar Council of India (BCI) Vice Chairman Dhanapal Raj, allegedly involved in a corruption case, saying if granted the relief he may hamper the probe and influence witnesses due to his social status.

Dismissing Raj`s bail plea, Justice Hima Kohli said "having regard to the status of the petitioner, who is not only a member of the Tamil Nadu Bar Council but also the BCI vice chairman, there can be no doubt about the influence that he wields in the society in general and in the legal fraternity in particular."

"The relief sought by the petitioner (Raj) in the present petition for grant of anticipatory bail may result in hampering the investigation and influencing the material witnesses whose statements are being recorded by CBI," the court added.

CBI arrested R S Rana, a BCI member along with another person Manish Tyagi, on December 20 last year for their alleged role in a corruption case.

Raj, a Chennai-based practising lawyer, however, was granted interim anticipatory bail for four weeks by the Madras High Court, which expired on January 21 this year.

Justice Kohli refused to grant him the bail, rejecting his plea that he had cooperated with CBI in the probe.

"Mere grant of interim anticipatory bail to Raj by the Madras High Court does not automatically entitle him to anticipatory bail in the present proceedings," the court said.

According to CBI, a BCI team of Raj and Rana had inspected Ghazibad-based Global College of Law on October 25, 2010 and demanded an undisclosed sum of birbe for giving it a favourable report for its affiliation with BCI.

The Delhi High Court has already granted bail to Tyagi while refusing the same to Rana in December 2010.