PNB fraud case: CBI special court tells accused’s bail plea must be before the previous judge
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A CBI special court to which the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case was transferred in July this year, in its order on the third bail plea of Nirav Modi’s company Firestar International’s executive, has said that the plea must be heard by the previous judge who is still available.

This was the former finance manager Miten Pandya’s third bail application. He had claimed it on the grounds that his immediate superior in the company, who had similar allegations against him, had been granted bail. Pandya also stated in his plea that Nirav Modi has been arrested in the UK and his extradition proceedings will take time.

CBI special judge VC Barde said in his order that Pandya’s earlier two bail pleas had already been rejected by the previous court from where the matter, in which the chargesheet had been filed before that court, had been transferred and came before his court on 24 July this year. It noted that an earlier application filed by Pandya had also been transferred to the previous court.

Judge Barde cited a judgment and said that it has held that since the judge who had rejected the bail in the first instance was available, the matter should have been placed before him. Further he cited from a judgment that, “That will sustain the faith of the people in the system and nobody would pave the path of forum shopping, which is decryable in law.”

The CBI court then referred the matter to the principal judge for suitable orders.

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