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Ranagate: Second BCI accused in law school bribe case now denied bail

Exclusive: Delhi Bar Council member Rajinder Singh Rana is understood to have withdrawn his bail plea in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of alleged law school accreditation bribes, as the Delhi High Court has now also denied anticipatory bail to the co-accused BCI vice-chairman R Dhanapal Raj after the end of four weeks of the Madras High Court-granted interim bail.

Rana, who continues to be in judicial custody, has withdrawn his bail plea as a long date of hearing was being given by the court hearing the matter, sources with knowledge of the case told Legally India, after Rana had unsuccessfully applied for bail three times.

Justice Hima Kohli relied on the case status report submitted by the CBI that contained recorded confession of a witness and held Dhanapal to be equally culpable of accepting a bribe in exchange of providing accreditation to a law college.

“The contention of counsel for the petitioner that there is neither any allegation levelled against him nor an iota of evidence that he was negotiating over the gratification amount with Mr. Tyagi to give a favourable report in favour of the Global College of Law, prima facie appears to be contrary to the statement of the witness recorded under Section 164 of the Cr.PC,” the Hindu quoted from the order.

Further, the court gave similar reasons as had been employed for rejecting Rana’s bail applications, that allowing the accused Dhanapal out on bail might hamper investigation because of his clout and influence.

“Having regard to the status of the petitioner, there can be no doubt about the influence he wields in society in general and the legal fraternity in particular.’ said the order according to the Hindu. The paper added that: “the relief sought by the petitioner for grant of anticipatory bail might result in hampering investigation and influencing the material witnesses, whose statements were being recorded by the Central Bureau of Investigation”.

While rejecting Rana’s bail in late December the judge had held that the question of Dhanapal having been granted interim relief in Chennai cannot be pleaded as a ground because a court of competent jurisdiction in Delhi had not heard his case.

Read exclusive details and background to the case in Legally India’s earlier analysis.

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