Arun Shourie Gets Protection from Arrest in Rajasthan Hotel Case

A CBI court, on 16 September, had ordered the registration of a case against former Union Minister Arun Shourie.

Published
India
2 min read
File image of Arun Shourie.
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The Jodhpur Bench of Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday, 23 September, in an interim order, granted protection from arrest to Former Union Minister Arun Shourie in the Laxmi Vilas Hotel case.

A CBI court, on 16 September, had ordered the registration of a case against former Union Minister Arun Shourie and others over alleged corruption in the sale of a government-run hotel in 2002.

WHAT DID SHOURIE’S COUNSEL SAY?

According to LiveLaw, advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pradeep Shah, appearing for Shourie, told the Single Bench of Justice Dinesh Mehta that the court had made an error in holding that the prosecution sanction under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was not required.

They further asked the court to grant Shourie complete exemption from appearing before the Trial Court as he is a senior citizen (79) suffering from various age-related issues.

According to LiveLaw, Shourie himself appeared in the online hearing and stressed on the fact that owing to his age, his wife’s ailments and a child, who requires his care, it would be difficult for him to appear before the court, especially in the present scenario.

WHAT DID THE CBI SAY?

Additional Solicitor General Raju, appearing for the CBI, said that the petitioner’s plea of exemption be acceded to. According to Livelaw, he also “practically” conceded that the order of the Special CBI judge was not in conformity with the law.

WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?

The Court, according to Livelaw, passed the following order:

  1. Arun Shourie shall not be arrested
  2. He may appear before the court on any day by 15 October and furnish a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each
  3. Shourie shall not leave the country without prior permission from court

The court had also, reportedly, during the hearing of Jyotsna Suri, on Tuesday, 22 September, “rapped” the CBI court for issuing arrest warrants against Shourie and four others in the case.

BACKGROUND

The case pertains to the alleged loss of Rs 244 crore to the government by the sale of the hotel. The hotel – earlier run by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation – was sold to Bharat Hotels Limited, which now runs the Lalit group of hotels, in 2002.

The sale was a part of a disinvestment process by the government.

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

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