AP High Court cancels IAS officer Acahrya's bail in Emaar land scam case

Describing the CBI court's order that set IAS officer B P Acharya free on bail in the Emaar scam case as perverse, justice K C Bhanu of the AP High Court on Monday cancelled the bail and directed Acharya, who is accused number one in the case, to surrender before the trial court immediately.

Acharya had been earlier released on bail by the CBI court on technical grounds that the centre's sanction for the IAS officer's prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act had not been obtained. According to information available, Acharya would today surrender before the CBI court following which he would once again be lodged in Chanchalguda jail.

Delivering his judgment on a CBI petition that challenged the trial court order, the judge passed critical remarks against the trial court for its whimsical approach. Bhanu said that judges discretionary powers had to be used in a judicious manner keeping in view the facts of the case. It was an indispensable part of a sound judicial system, according to justice Bhanu.

Even in the event of no sanction order, the trial court could still keep the accused in judicial remand under various provisions of CrPC, according to the judge. During and after investigation and during the trial period, there were several provisions under which a trial court could keep an accused in remand, he said.

"In the current case, the court may not be able to keep Acharya in judicial custody under 167 of the CrPC, but under section 309, it can certainly remand the accused to judicial custody. How can the trial court release a person on bail without there being an application seeking bail by the accused. And that too without even hearing the CBI version?," Justice Bhanu asked.

On 16 March the special court for CBI cases hearing the alleged irregularities in the APIIC-Emaar land deal, had ordered the release of Acharya pending sanction from the centre to proceed against him and another top bureaucrat.