Don't keep chargesheeted undertrials locked up: Digvijay

Written by: Pti
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Digvijay Singh
New Delhi, Oct 28: Citing the case of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta in the US, Congress leader Digvijay Singh today (October 28) made a strong pitch for release on bail of all accused who have been chargesheeted after completion of probe.

Singh's assertion came in the backdrop of former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi languishing behind bars in corruption cases like 2G and Commonwealth Games, but the AICC general secretary stressed he was not taking any names.

"Good to know Rajat Gupta got bail. Would our Judiciary also take a cue and not keep under trials in lock up once they are charge-sheeted," Singh said in his post on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Gupta, who was arrested on charges of passing insider information to his billionaire friend Raj Rajaratnam, was released on USD 10 million bond after he pleaded not guilty to offences that carry a potential penalty of 105 years in prison. Later talking to PTI over phone, Singh, quoting Justice V R Krishna Aiyar, former Supreme Court judge, said "every accused has the right to get a bail, until he is convicted".

Singh said, "Once a person is chargesheeted and the investigation in the particular case is completed, every accused has a right to get bail as a principle...I think this is something, our judiciary should take into consideration."

Stressing that he was not taking any names and this does not concern one particular issue or person, he said, "There are hundreds of undertrials languishing in jails in every part of the country in absence of bails."

Without making reference to any particular case, he said that the "basic issue is, if someone has not been convicted then it is not legally right to keep him in jail for long time". When pointed out that even Kalmadi is in jail though he has already been chargesheeted, Singh merely said that he has "prayed to God that he (Kalmadi) can prove himself innocent".


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