The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the bail application of Vijay Singh alias Raju, a key accused in the sensational murder of dacoit-turned-MP Phoolan Devi on July 25, 2001.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and J Chalameswar, concurred with the findings of the Delhi high court that in view of allegations that witnesses were receiving threats from the accused in custody and trial being at the fag end it would not be proper to enlarge the accused on bail.
"The trial is at the fag end and on the verge of completion. Only a few witnesses have to be examined. It is also disturbing to note that the witnesses are stated to have been threatened. We are not inclined to grant any bail at the moment," Justice Sathasivam speaking for the bench said.
The apex court rejected the plea of counsel Mritunjay Kumar Sinha, that Vijay should also be released on bail as other co-accused Amit Rathi, Rajender and Praveen Mittal have been granted bail.
He also submitted that there was no evidence against Vijay's involvement and the only allegation against him was that his mobile was used by Sher Singh Rana, the main accused for committing the crime.
The Delhi high court had in April this year dismissed Vijay's bail plea saying his release would be detrimental to the interests of the witnesses as they were receiving threats even while the accused were in judicial custody.
On July 25, 2001, Phoolan Devi who was elected a Member of Parliament on the Samajwadi Party ticket, was gunned down outside her 44, Ashoka Road residence by Sher Singh Rana and 11 others to avenge the infamous Behamai massacre of 1981 in which she and her gang had murdered 17 people belonging to an upper caste.