UP Congress says it will move HC against rejection of Lallu' bail plea

Lucknow, Jun 2 (PTI) The UP Congress on Tuesday said that it will move high court against rejection of the bail plea of jailed PCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu in a case of alleged forgery of documents of buses to ferry migrant workers.

Lallu, 41, is a sitting Congress MLA from Tamukhi Raj assembly constituency of Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh. On Monday, he failed to get any reprieve as a special MP-MLA court rejected his bail plea in connection with the alleged forgery of documents of buses his party arranged for ferrying stranded migrant workers.

'We will move high court in connection with the bail case of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu. We are likely to move the HC tomorrow, as we are waiting for the copy of the order pertaining to rejection of his bail,' UP Congress media convenor Lalan Kumar told PTI on Tuesday.

In his order on Monday, special judge P K Rai said the offences are serious in nature and adequate material has been collected against Lallu and prima facie his complicity is apparent.

'At this state, when probe is still going on, there is no reason to enlarge him on bail,' the judge said.

Earlier, moving the bail plea on behalf of Lallu, his lawyer had argued that there was no direct evidence against his client and that he was harassed due to political vendetta.

Vehemently opposing the plea, District Government Counsel (Criminal) Manoj Tripathi argued that there was direct involvement of Lallu in the case.

Tripathi claimed Lallu himself wrote a letter to the state home secretary after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi offered 1,000 buses to the Adityanath government.

'Lallu along with his accomplices sent a forged list of buses in a planned way in order to endanger the life of thousands of migrant workers,' argued Tripathi.

'Thus, he not only he created a disturbance in the functioning of the government officials and that too in the time of coronavirus pandemic, but also tried to malign the image of the state government,' he added.

Considering the arguments of both the sides, the court turned down the bail application.

On May 20, after a standoff between the state government and the Congress over the party's offer to run 1,000 buses to ferry migrant labourers, Lallu was arrested twice in Agra.

He was first arrested for sitting on a dharna against the Yogi Adityanath administration for not granting permission for the buses to ply.

Though he was granted bail by an Agra court and released, he was arrested soon after in connection with another case filed in Lucknow regarding alleged forgery of documents of buses.

After being brought here from Agra, Lallu was produced before a court which had sent him to 14 days judicial custody. He is in jail since May 21.

On Saturday, the special court had adjourned the hearing in the case until June 1 after the prosecution submitted that the investigation was ongoing.

Tripathi had sought more time to lay before the court the current status of the investigation.

Reacting to the rejection of bail, Lalan Kumar said that the UP government has framed Lallu in fake cases and put him behind the bars only for serving the people hit hardest by the lockdown.

'While people associated with the ruling party are sitting in the comfort of their homes, Ajay Kumar Lallu is being framed in fake case to deny him the chance to serve the people. This is the oppressive politics of the ruling party,' Kumar said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on Saturday slammed the BJP government over Lallu's arrest, saying that keeping him unnecessarily in jail exposes the alleged anti-poor mindset of the Yogi Adityanath dispensation. PTI NAV AAR AAR