The petitioners sought anticipatory bail from the Court. The police arrested the petitioners for allegedly selling the government supply of cement to a private buyer. However, this cement was not for sale. Impliedly, the charges imposed on the petitioners were of corruption. In this case, the Court held the petitioners and the case as fit for bail.
Brief Facts of the Case
One of the petitioners, Anil, worked as a government contractor. He received some bags of cement for some official government work. This supply of cement was diverted to another petitioner, Sudesh Kumari. At that time, Sudesh Kumari had ongoing construction work. As she required cement for the same, she entered into a contract with Anil. Moreover, she made a payment of rupees one lakh and fifty thousand towards the same.
The petitioner’s brother-in-law Sanjay Kumar was likewise a part of the contract. He is also one of the said petitioners in this case. He was responsible for giving the contract for the cement to Anil. Moreover, Sanjay instructed the contractor to move the cement to two different locations. The bags were kept in a tin shed near the construction work and in a room of a temple.
Subsequently, the police received information about this dealing. The cement was the property of the government. As it was being used for unlawful private development, the police raided the site. Further, the police found the bags of cement along with some extra cement bags from the temple and the tin shed.
An FIR was filed against the petitioners, for charges of corruption. They were later arrested on the same. The charges filed were under both Corruption laws, as well as, the Indian Penal Code. (Note: Sections 4 and 7 of The Himachal Pradesh Prevention of Specific Corrupt Practices Act and under Sections 409, 120 IPC). The petitioners filed for anticipatory bail before the Court. The petition was filed under section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The police are yet to find the source of the extra bags of cement.
Arguments Made by the Petitioner
The counsel for the petitioner claimed the petitioners to be innocent. The counsel further argued that the cases were false and that the charges were forced upon them.
As the petitioners are local residents of the village, they cannot abscond. Further, they assured that they will not hinder or manipulate the investigation. The petitioners were already cooperating with the investigation at the time. The counsel stated that the petitioners’ custody did not serve any purpose. Hence, on these grounds, the petitioners should get the bail.
Arguments Made by the Respondent
The counsel for the respondents argued against the grounds made by the petitioners. They expressed that the candidates will abscond if the bail is granted. Further, the counsel argued that they are likely to tamper with the evidence. Thus, the Court should dismiss the appeal.
Observation Made by the Court
The Court observed that petitioners are not in a situation to influence the investigation. Further, the petitioners resided in the district. Thus, they are not likely to escape. Moreover, there is nothing with the petitioners that required recovery by the police. Hence, as there was no productive reason for their custody, the Court can discharge them on a bail.
The Court deemed the case as fit for granting bail. The Court found that petitioners’ bail would not affect the investigation. It also noted that the petitioners’ custody did not serve any purpose. Thus, the Court granted bail.
Further, the Court ordered the petitioners to adhere to orders of the Court. The Court ordered them not to leave the country without prior permission. They should not tamper the evidence and be present when required.
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