BSP MP Dhananjay Singh, who along with his wife Jagriti Singh has been charge-sheeted in connection with the murder of their maid, was on Saturday granted interim bail for two months by a Delhi court.
Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma granted interim bail to Mr. Singh, a sitting MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur constituency, on a personal bond of Rs. one lakh and two sureties of the like amount.
However, despite getting interim bail, Mr. Singh, who was arrested on November 5 last year, will have to remain in Tihar Jail under judicial custody as he has not been granted bail in a separate rape case in which he is facing trial.
During the arguments, Delhi Police opposed the bail plea of Mr. Singh saying there was no new ground or change in circumstances for releasing him on bail.
The police, however, told the court that the two prime witnesses in the case have been provided security in pursuance to the order passed by a magisterial court last year.
Senior advocate Hariharan and advocate S.P.M. Tripathi, who appeared for Mr. Singh, argued that since the two key prosecution witnesses in the case had already been provided protection by police, there was no likelihood of him trying to intimidate them.
The defence counsel also argued that there was no possibility that the MP would tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses in the case.
They also said that Mr. Singh has to look after his ailing father and as charge-sheet has already been filed, no useful purpose would be served by keeping his client in custody.
Earlier, the court had directed police to apprise it about whether they have provided protection to the key witnesses in the case.
Mr. Singh had approached the court after his bail plea was dismissed on February 22 by the court on the grounds that, being an influential person, he could intimidate the witnesses who are yet to be examined.
The magisterial court, while dismissing the bail plea of Mr. Singh on November 20 last year, had directed police to provide protection to the principal witnesses till the time their statements were recorded.
Mr. Singh was charge-sheeted for various offences under IPC, including alleged destruction of evidence and abetment of the offences of murder and attempt to murder.
Ms. Singh has been charge-sheeted for offences under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 344 (wrongfully confining for 10 or more days), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.
The couple were arrested on November 5 last year in connection with the death of their 35-year-old maid Rakhi Bhadra, a resident of West Bengal.
The police, in its charge-sheet, had alleged that Ms. Singh used to “mercilessly beat” her three domestic helpers and had “compelled” them to work by holding them captive.
Bhadra’s body, with injury marks on her legs, chest and arms, was recovered from Mr. Singh’s South Avenue residence on the evening of November 4, 2013.
Earlier, police had charge-sheeted Mr. Singh in a separate case for allegedly repeatedly raping a 42-year-old railway employee for nearly four years.