Patna HC Denies Pre-Arrest Bail To IPS Officer Pose As Chief Justice To Influence Corruption Probe

Patna HC

The Patna High Court recently denied anticipatory bail to an IPS officer who allegedly conspired with a conman to pose as the Chief Justice of the high court in order to put pressure on the Director General of Police (DGP) to drop a corruption investigation initiated against him.

While denying bail to the accused officer, a single bench of Justice Anjani Kumar Saran stated that “corruption and bribery is a serious concern and a threat to India’s economic stability.”

The accused IPS officer allegedly intervened to release a seized liquor consignment while serving as Superintendent of Police (S.P.) in Jehanabad and Begusarai and Senior Superintendent of Police in Gaya. A criminal case was later filed against him.

The officer was accused of hiring a conman who attempted to influence the investigation by calling the then-Director General of Police, S.K. Singhal, while posing as the then-Chairman of the High Court.

Afterwards, the police Economic Offences Unit filed a complaint for the offences punishable under Sections 353, 387, 419, 420, 467, 468, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code, as well as Sections 66 (C) and 66 (D) of the I.T. Act.

In anticipation of his arrest in the aforementioned instance, the officer petitioned the high court for pre-arrest bail. His attorney contended that the accused officer was unfairly implicated in the case as part of a deep-seated conspiracy planned by higher-ranking police officials in the department.

The counsel asserted that during his postings at Begusarai, Bhojpur, and Gaya the accused officer was engaged in very effective policing.

He further stated that certain indisciplined subordinate officers worked under the accused officer, and when the officer complained about those officers to his IG, Mr. Amit Lodha, no action was done.

Afterwards, he discovered that some SHOs of various police stations  (Officer-in-Charge) were regularly meeting with the IG, who was also frequently visiting Jharkhand without officially telling his subordinates or higher authorities, according to the accused officer’s counsel.

The counsel for the EOU, on the other hand, strenuously opposed the bail and contended that the accused officer, in collaboration with co-accused Abhishek Agrawal @ Abhishek Bholpalaka, devised a scheme to fool the then DGP of Bihar in order to have the accused’s case closed.

The counsel informed the bench that during the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Agrawal and the accused cop had been in regular contact. The lawyer emphasized that the extraction reports of the accused officers’ cellphone numbers show that the accused cop actively participated in the alleged crime.

“The law of the land abhors any public servant intentionally enriching himself illicitly during the tenure of his service and taking undue advantage of his post and power,” the bench stated.

The single bench emphasized that “there was abundant evidence on record against the accused officer, including electronic evidence, that not only disclosed but also demonstrated the officer’s connivance, cooperation, and active participation as a mastermind, who had the plan executed through co-accused.”

As a result, the court determined that the case was ineligible for the accused officer to be granted pre-arrest release.

Furthermore, before dismissing the case, the court asked the high court registry to forward a copy of the ruling to the Chief Justice for appropriate administrative decisions, as two Judicial Officers were discovered to be involved in the current case.


Recommended For You

About the Author: Nunnem Gangte