The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to disqualified Congress MLA Sunil Kedar who was convicted in a bank scam last month, and also suspended his sentence temporarily.
Kedar, the five-term MLA from Saoner in Nagpur district, was sentenced to five years in jail on December 22, 2023, by a magistrate’s court here in a case related to irregularities at the Nagpur District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB) of which he was chairman from 1999 to 2002.
Last week, the sessions court had rejected his plea seeking a stay to the conviction and sentence, and also refused him bail.
Kedar’s lawyers Sunil Manohar and Devendra Chauhan then moved the HC.
Justice Urmila Joshi on Tuesday granted interim suspension of the sentence pending hearing of the appeal filed by Kedar against the conviction, and granted him bail.
The Congress leader, who was out on bail during the trial, was taken into custody after the judgment. He is presently lodged at the Nagpur central jail.
The trial court erred in considering some crucial evidence, his appeal said, while also arguing that he is a senior citizen and the trial dragged on for 21 years which took a toll on his health.
He adhered to all bail conditions during the trial, Kedar said.
The magistrate convicted Kedar and five others of criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, forgery and other relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code. Besides jail term, a fine of Rs 12.5 lakh was also imposed on each of them.
The case related to irregularities at the NDCCB which came to light during an audit conducted by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and also in another audit ordered by the Cooperative Commissioner in 2002.