The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Court has granted bail to court master Manav Sharma, who was arrested by the Delhi Crime Branch for allegedly tampering with a Supreme Court order in the Anil Ambani-Ericsson case.
Bail was granted by Judge Manish Khurana after recording that co-accused Tapan Kumar Chakroborty was also granted bail in the case and no purpose would be served by further detaining Sharma in custody.
While granting bail to Sharma, the Court recorded,
“The applicant/accused Manav Sharma and the co-accused Tapan Kumar Chakraborty (who has already been granted bail) were apprehended on the similar allegations of preparing, signing and uploading an incorrect record of proceedings of order dated 07.01.2019 of Hon’ble Supreme Court and considering the facts and circumstances and the fact that the applicant/accused has been in JC for last more than one month and his custodial interrogation is no more required by the police and the fact that the co-accused Tapan Kumar Chakroborty has already been granted bail, I am of the opinion that the applicant/accused Manav Sharma is also entitled to bail in this case at this stage.
Hence, the applicant/accused Manav Sharma is hereby admitted to bail on furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs. 50,0001- with one surety in the like amount subject…”
The Court has further directed Sharma to join the investigation, not to tamper with evidence or influence any witness in any manner.
In his bail application filed through Advocates Prashant Mendiratta and Malvika Choudhary, Sharma argued that he was absolutely innocent. He further claimed that he had suggested to the counsel for Ericsson that he should apprise the Court about the omission of the word ‘not’ from the order. Had it been an intentional omission, he would not have come forward with this suggestion. Sharma argued.
Also, if it was felt that the said omission was malafide or vexatious or deliberate, the Supreme Court would not have allowed him to work from the date when the matter was mentioned i.e. January 9 to February 5, Sharma contended.
Sharma also stated that no fault could be attributed to him for the alleged tampering.
Manav Sharma and another court official, Tapan Chakraborty, were dismissed from the Supreme Court after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi passed an administrative order finding them guilty of tampering with the January 7 order ordering Anil Ambani’s personal appearance in the contempt petition filed by Ericsson against Reliance Communications.
On April 7, Chakraborty and Sharma were arrested by the Delhi Crime Branch. The two had been booked for the commission of offences under Sections 420, 467, and 468 read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
After being arrested on April 8, the two former Court Masters were remanded to seven days’ police custody. Sharma was remanded to judicial custody on April 15.―Bar & Bench