New Delhi: Corrupt people are destroying the country and they get away with corruption taking the help of money, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. The top court’s oral remark came while it was hearing a plea filed by activist Gautam Navlakha that he be placed under house arrest instead of judicial custody in the Elgar Parishad case. Opposing his plea, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), told the top court that people such as Navlakha want to destroy the country. “Their ideology is of that type. It is not that they are innocent people. They are persons involved in actual warfare,” Raju said. A bench of justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy then remarked, “Do you want to know who is destroying this country? People who are corrupt. Every office you go into, what happens? Who takes action against the corrupt? We should be accused of being biased.”
“We saw a video of people where people talk of crores of rupees to buy our so-called elected representatives. Unless we close our eyes. Are you saying they are not doing anything against our country? The point is that you don’t defend them but they go on. They go on merrily. There are money bags which can help you get away,” it observed.
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The additional solicitor general said he was not defending the corrupt and added that action should be taken against them. The top court asked Raju to seek instructions and apprise it on what conditions can be imposed on Navlakha if the request of house arrest is allowed.
“At least for a short period let us see. You check and come back so that nothing happens contrary to the interest of our country. We are equally conscious of that. If he does anything, he will lose his freedom,” the bench said.
“He has got a host of problems and it is not unnatural for somebody who is 70. At this age, you are bound to go into a state of disrepair. It is a machine,” it said.
The activist appealed to the apex court against the April 26 order of the Bombay High Court dismissing his plea for house arrest over apprehensions of lack of adequate medical and other basic facilities in the Taloja jail near Mumbai where he is lodged.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Navlakha, said medical reports show that there is no possibility of him being treated in jail.
“There’s no way in the world you can get this kind of treatment/monitoring done in jail. He’s had alarming weight loss. This kind of treatment is not possible in jail,” Sibal said.