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Suleman Bakery-accused Tyagi gets bail
By MH Lakdawala
The granting of bail to former police commissioner RD Tyagi proves beyond
doubt that state government is not serious in implementing Srikrishna
commission report or punishing those indicted by the Commission.
The ex-police commissioner was granted bail mainly on the grounds of
parity: since his co-accused are out on bail, why not he? Since those who
went inside Suleman Bakery and actually fired spent not an hour in
custody, while the man who claims to have waited outside had to surrender?
The defense argued. But the state did not put its case strongly to counter
The simple reason is that the Maharashtra state did not want them inside
either. In the normal course of things, Tyagi,and 16 co accused, should
have been arrested as soon as the FIR was filed u/sec 302 and 34 IPC on
How serious was the State government and STF can be gauged by the fact
that they did not appealed against the bail granted to Tyagi’s 16
co-accused. During the hearing of Tyagi's bail plea Judge Thipsay
repeatedly asked the special public prosecutor (PP) whether the State had
appealed against the bail granted to his co-accused.
In his order too, he pointed out that the granting of bail to them did not
aggrieve the state. How could it be aggrieved when it had not opposed even
their anticipatory bail application? The order makes it obvious. The order
granting them anticipatory bail clearly states that the investigating
agency, i.e., the Special Task Force (STF), did not even press for
custodial interrogation. "The very fact that the investigating agency
did not find it necessary to take them into custody indicates that there
is no apprehension of the applicants tampering with the evidence or
In his brilliant arguments opposing Tyagi's anticipatory bail application
in the high court, Special Public Prosecutor P R Vakil had declared that
thanks to the cover-up by Tyagi and his department, there was no evidence
left to tamper with.
He had pointed out the complete lack of evidence to support the version
put forward by Tyagi and his Special Operations Squad (SOS). He had even
displayed the kind of arms with which the alleged terrorists were supposed
to have escaped while surrounded by the STF, to show how absurd this claim
All these arguments applied equally to Tyagi's co-accused. There was no
question then of greater responsibility or lesser. Why then weren't the
same arguments made in the anticipatory bail application of the
co-accused? Because Home Minister Chagan Bhujbal and Police Commissioner M
N Singh didn't want them to lose their jobs and then be left with a sullen
police force to deal with?
Vakil had concluded his high court arguments by pointing out that there
was enough evidence to necessitate custodial interrogation of Tyagi. He
had to be asked what happened to the victims' clothes and the bullets
embedded in two bodies. Normally, murder accused are interrogated in
custody. If this accused is dealt with separately, it would be an
injustice, he had said.
Despite this, the STF chose, just a few hours before Justice A B Palkar
was to pass his order, to finish off Tyagi's interrogation in their
Special Public Prosecutor Vakil has been an unenviable task. How can any
PP forcefully oppose anticipatory bail or bail when his client doesn't
want the accused in custody? If Vakil fought with all his might against
Tyagi's anticipatory bail application, it was because public pressure
forced the government to let him do so.
Even while hearing in magistrate's court. STF fails to produce Tyagi.
Reprimanded by magistrate for making no written application. Tyagi's
counsel insists that shifting Tyagi either to Arthur Road Jail or J J
Hospital will be life-threatening. Though there's no medical report saying
this, PP keeps silent. He does not ask court to order medical examination
of Tyagi by panel of government doctors.
Thus apparently state government projects itself as implementing the
Srikrishna Commission report and committed to bring to justice those
indicted by the Commission. But its deeds convey the fact that it is only
interested in scoring political points even at the cost of Justice.