The Calcutta High Court today denied bail to Ruia group chairman Pawan Ruia, arrested in a case of arson and theft of railway goods worth Rs 50 crore at an ailing PSU factory, taken over by the group in 2003. A bench of justices Debasish Kar Gupta and Md Mumtaz Khan dismissed Ruia’s bail pleas as the prosecution counsel opposed them contending that the industrialist was the main accused in the case.
Prosecution counsel Rajdeep Majumdar opposed bail to him arguing that the witnesses in the case were Ruia’s employees and once out on bail, he would be able to easily influence them. Seeking bail for the Ruia group chairman, his counsel pleaded that he has been in custody for over 110 days despite having no role in the offence.
Ruia was neither the chairman nor the director or a shareholder of Jessop and Co Ltd, argued the defence counsel adding he was not even an occupier of any of the premises of the firm when the fire and alleged theft had taken place.
A fire had broken out at the Jessop factory premises in Dum Dum area of North 24 Parganas district on October 17, 2016.
The railway officials, on inspecting the premises after the fire, had discovered that materials worth Rs 50 crore supplied by it to Jessop and Co Ltd to manufacture railway coaches were missing. They had subsequently lodged a complaint with the police.
Ruia Group had taken over the ailing central PSU Jessop and Co, an engineering firm that manufactured railway coaches and road rollers, in 2003 during a disinvestment programme. Ruia was arrested from his Sundernagar residence in Delhi by the state CID on December 10, 2016.