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Tuesday , July 3 , 2012
 
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Court reprieve for AMRI absconders

The high court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to two absconding owner-directors of AMRI Hospitals, Aditya Agarwal and Rahul Todi.

According to police records, the two had been absconding since a fire broke out at the Dhakuria hospital of the group on December 9 last year, leading to 91 deaths.

After granting the anticipatory bail, the division bench of Justice Asim Kumar Roy and Justice Toufique Ahmed asked Agarwal and Todi to appear before the Alipore court for confirmation of their bail.

Earlier, public prosecutor Debashish Roy had opposed the duo’s plea for anticipatory bail, saying they had been absconding since the fire and were yet to be questioned by police.

The same bench had in May granted anticipatory bail to Preeti Surekha, another owner-director of AMRI who had been evading arrest.

The police had earlier arrested nine directors of the hospital, all of whom have got bail from either the Alipore court or the high court. They were S.K. Todi and son Ravi; R.S. Goenka and son Manish and nephew Prashant; R.S. Agrawal, D.N. Agarwal; and doctors M.K. Chhetri and Pranab Dasgupta. Except Chhetri and Dasgupta, all are also owners of the hospital.

Public prosecutor Roy said the state had filed petitions seeking the cancellation of the bail of eight directors. “Considering the age of Chhetri (he is 91), we are not seeking the cancellation of his bail.”

“R.S. Agrawal, S.K. and Ravi Todi, R.S. Goenka, and Manish and Prashant Goenka had got bail from the high court. So we filed the appeals in the Supreme Court. The petitions will come up for hearing soon,” Roy said.

The petitions against the bail of Dasgupta and D.N. Agarwal have been filed in the high court as they had got the reprieve from the Alipore court.

Sources said prosecution would need at least eight more months to start trial in the case. “The investigators have recorded statements of more than 400 people. So the preparation of the paper book — a compilation of the copies of the FIRs, seizure lists, investigation reports and statements of the witnesses — will take a lot of time. The trial cannot take place without the paper book,” said a court source.