New Delhi: A special court on Monday dismissed a plea of former MP Naveen Jindal seeking permanent exemption from personal appearance till further order observing that "once a person is arrayed as an accused, he cannot enjoy the liberty as given by the Constitution to a common man."
Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar said the court has to take into account the nature of offence whether it is grave and severe or not while deciding the pleas for exemption.
"It would be appropriate to clarify that once a person is arrayed as an accused, he cannot enjoy the liberty given by the Constitution to a common man. After being an accused, certain restrictions comes into operation," the judge said.
It said that courts cannot differentiate between an accused who is holding high position in society and one who is a daily wager and cited a popular dictum that "Justice should not only be done but also seen to be done."
The court further added that the status of an accused person before the court of law should be irrespective of their status in the society and one cannot say that a particular accused is on a better footing than others.
"In these circumstances, when the exemption applications have been invariably allowed, so it will be in the interest of justice if the application seeking permanent exemption ought not to be allowed in order to ensure smooth trial in the case.
"Accordingly, I find no merit in the application and the same is dismissed," the judge said.
The court further said that, "It is beyond comprehension that why such kind of applications are being moved by the accused persons simply to seek permanent exemption.
"Moreover, probably this court can mention from its experience in other coal scam cases that an accused who can engage a battery of senior lawyers seek exemption through other advocates and the court is made to wait for other counsel," it said.
The court also accepted the contention of CBI, which has opposed the Jindal's plea that "presence of an accused is a rule and absence an exception."...