A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla in a corruption case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.
Gorantla is said to be a former auditor of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha.
Special Judge M K Nagpal, who also sent AAP leader Manish Sisodia to judicial custody till March 20 in the case, directed Gorantla to surrender his passport and not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses.
The judge said that though some incriminating WhatsApp chats were recovered from the Gorantla’s mobile phone, but even the contents of those chats could only show his participation in those meetings in his professional capacity and to represent the interests of his client Kavitha and not in any personal capacity of the applicant or deriving of any pecuniary benefits by him out of the said participation.
Kavitha’s name has already been surfaced into the case.
“The role which has been attributed to the present applicant in commission of alleged offences is much lesser in comparison to the roles of the two co -accused — Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally — granted bail by this court…in case of the present applicant, no pecuniary benefit or advantage has admittedly been caused to or obtained by him out of the above policy,” the judge said.
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The judge further noted that the applicant had deep roots in society, and that he travelled all the way to Delhi from his native place on around 15 occasions to join investigation of this case prior to his arrest.
“Thus, keeping in view the above facts he cannot be said or considered to be a flight risk as there are no genuine chances of his absconding from trial or proceedings of this case.
“Even, the apprehensions being expressed about tampering with evidence or influencing of witnesses by him do not appear to be any legitimate or reasonable apprehensions, keeping in view his above conduct and background as he himself is only a CA and simply because some of his clients may or happen to be influential persons, he himself cannot be considered to be a threat to the witnesses or his smooth trial in the present case,” the judge said.
The court accepted the arguments made by senior advocates Mohit Mathur and Pramod Kumar Dubey, appearing for Gorantla, that the documentary evidence pertaining to his alleged role was already collected by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and that there was no genuine possibility of tampering or destruction thereof by the applicant.
The CBI had arrested Gorantla on February 7 in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.