Uttar Pradesh minister Rakesh Sachan, found guilty in a three-decade-old Arms Acts case, was accused of disappearing from a Kanpur court on Saturday “without furnishing bail bonds” before the quantum of punishment was decided. The minister, however, defended his actions stating his case “wasn’t listed for the final verdict”.
Prosecution officer (PO) Richa Gupta said Sachan left the courtroom soon after his conviction when the court asked the defence counsel to make arguments over the quantum of punishment.
Gupta said an FIR will be lodged against Sachan as he went away “without furnishing bail bonds”.
Sachan “fled” with the court’s conviction order, which was given to him for putting his signature, a senior official was quoted as saying on condition of anonymity. Sachan was convicted in a 1991 case in which police recovered an illegal firearm from Rakesh Sachan.
The decision to register an FIR against the minister was taken after a marathon meeting with senior judicial officials believing that letting him off without action might land the presiding officer in trouble, the official added.
Commissioner of Police B P Jogdand told PTI a written complaint against Sachan was received. He, however, did not elaborate on the content of the complaint, saying he hasn’t personally seen it.
During interaction with media persons in Dehat district, Sachan later denied the charge of “fleeing” from the courtroom. Admitting that he had gone to the court for some work, the minister claimed that his case “wasn’t listed for the final verdict”. He said his lawyer has moved an application seeking for him exemption from personal appearance. The minister said he will honour the court verdict whatever it may be.
Sachan had joined the BJP after leaving the Congress just before the assembly polls earlier this year.
He had entered politics in early 90s, joining the Samajwadi Party. In 1993 and 2002, he was elected an MLA from the Ghatampur assembly seat before winning parliamentary elections in 2009 from the Fatehpur Lok Sabha seat.
(With PTI inputs)