Nagpur: Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has refused to deal any relief to Deepak Bajaj, a city-based educationalist who is currently behind bars for allegedly having assets disproportionate to known sources of income. On Wednesday, he had moved the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court in which he had challenged the charges framed against him, but justice Sunil Shukre refused to listen to his contentions, following which Bajaj withdrew his plea.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had booked Bajaj and his wife Veena under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, while Jaripatka police booked them under sections of the IPC. Through his counsel Shashibhushan Wahane and Raspal Singh Renu, Bajaj objected to some of the sections, claiming these were not applicable to him.
He has also preferred a contempt case against Nagpur Central jail authorities for not complying with orders to regularly conduct his medical check up. He claims his health has been deteriorating as a result. Both cases were listed on Thursday before special ACB court of judge KJ Rathi.
Earlier, Bajaj’s plea for regular bail had been categorically rejected by justice Shukre last month. He had also observed that prima facie Bajaj committed offences of high magnitude, having adverse impact on the education society in which people repose their trust for turning their children into responsible citizens.
“If we consider the nature of material available against the applicant, we would find that there are several witnesses, who’re his employees, and who claimed that he used to pressurize them into acceding to his various illegal demands. This would reasonably show that if released on bail, there is a possibility the applicant will influence prosecution witnesses,” the HC said.
Justice Shukre pointed out that there are records to show prima facie that over Rs2 crore were diverted from the students computer fees and credited to Bajaj’s account. “There is further material disclosing misappropriation of amount received by his institution (Mahatma Gandhi Centennial School run by Sindhu Education Society at Jaripatka) under the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme by producing false vouchers or bills by the petitioner. Such material available on record presents his case with different stock and value. Therefore, the benefit of principle of parity can’t be afforded to Bajaj,” the court stated.
The ACB officials had unearthed cash Rs32 lakhs and several documents during a raid on September 25 last year from the school’s office. ACB also conducted simultaneous searches at the cooperative society house in the same premises. In initial search, ACB recovered over Rs18 lakh cash, besides other valuables, including gold ornaments, worth around Rs3 crore.