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SC extends stay on criminal proceedings in Jal Mahal case

New Delhi:The Supreme Court today extended its stay on criminal proceedings in a Jaipur court against four persons including a senior IAS officer and businessman in connection with alleged illegal leasing of land around 16th century Jal Mahal in Rajasthan’s capital.

A bench comprising justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi said the February 17 order staying the proceedings against IAS officer Vinod Zutsi, a Rajasthan Administrative Officer Hridesh Kumar, one Rakesh Saini and businessman Nav Ratan Kothari will continue till further orders.

The bench asked the trial court in Jaipur to decide within three months, their revision petitions, challenging the cognizance taken on the case against them. After submissions made by senior advocate Abhishekh Singhvi, Mahesh Agrawala and Sudeep Hora, who appeared for them, the bench said the trial court would decide their revision petition without being influenced by the order of the High Court.

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They had approached the apex court after the Rajasthan High Court had declined to interfere with the order of the trial court. While Kothari is the owner of Jal Mahal Resorts Private Limited, Zutshi was the RTDC Chairman in 2005 when the land lease deal was finalised. Kumar and Saini were Zutshi’s subordinates at that time.

The Jaipur court in September 2011 had also issued arrest warrants against them and the High Court had dismissed their anticipatory bail plea.

Since the criminal proceedings have been stayed, the apex court said the anticipatory bail plea has become infructous.

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