High Court sets aside bail to IVRCL employees

A three-judge Bench of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ruled that any subsequent change in chamber in an order passed in open court was not legal, setting aside the bail granted by a judge after having rejected it along with a brother judge in a Division Bench to 10 employees of a company in connection with a flyover collapse case.

Chief Justice Manjula Cellur had referred the matter to the three-judge Bench following differences between Justice Ashim Kumar Roy and Justice CS Karnan over the latter's granting of bail to the accused persons days after having concurred with his brother judge in rejecting the bail pleas in open court.

The three-judge Bench, comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Joymalyo Bagchi and Justice RK Bag, ordered that as such bail granted by Justice Karnan to 10 employees of IVRCL, which was constructing the collapsed Vivekananda Road flyover, was bad in law and stood rejected.

Justice Karnan, who had earlier been in news for staying his transfer from the Madras High Court to the Calcutta High Court by the Supreme Court, differed with brother judge Justice Roy over bail to the ten accused persons after earlier holding concurrence in refusing bail to them.

The Bench, comprising Justice Roy and Justice Karnan, had refused bail to the ten accused on May 20. Justice Karnan, however, had a change of mind later and signed in favour of granting bail to the accused on June six, 18 days after the bail prayers were refused by the division Bench.
Justice Roy objected to Justice Karnan's decision as they sat in the court together as part of the division Bench on June 7.

While Justice Roy said such orders were always passed in open court room, Justice Karnan said that after going through the papers relating to the case afresh in his chamber, he felt bail should be granted to the ten accused and as such decided in favour of granting of bail. Following arguments over the legality of the order of Justice Karnan, the judges had left the court room and retired to their respective chambers. The matter was then referred to the three-judge bench by Chief Justice Chellur.


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