Court rejects bail of Tehsildar Bahu in trap case


JAMMU, Nov 21: Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Tahir Khurshid Raina today rejected the bail application of Rohit Sharma Tehsildar Bahu Jammu who was caught red-handed by the Anticorruption Bureau Jammu while accepting bribe Rs 50,000/- .
Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Tahir Khurshid Raina had observed that the conspectus of the case as built by the prosecution ACB, against the accused applicant is that a written complaint was received by ACB, Rajouri (Camp Jammu) on 01-11-2022 from the complainant, namely, Sominder Singh alias Sourav s/o Late Sh. Darshan Singh r/o Village Nari, Tehsil RS Pura, Jammu, regarding demand of a bribe amount from him by the accused-applicant for issuance of Revenue extract-'Fard' required for executing a sale deed out of the land of two kanals falling in khasra No. 159/min situated at Thanger near Medicity Hospital, Jammu. That complainant herein on behalf of his mother approached the accused for grant of 'Fard' and other relevant documents. That he made a request to the accused for issuance of same, but instead he has demanded Rs. 2.00 lakh as bribe for doing the needful.
Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Tahir Khurshid Raina after hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi for the applicant whereas APP Irshad Sheikh for the ACB observed that As per the status report dated 17-11-2022, "Case is at its initial stage and the act of the applicant-accused is highly deplorable, because of which trust of the society at large has been shaken. Moreover, in view of the conduct of the applicant, right from the day of registration of FIR, non-cooperation with the investigating agency, custodial questioning of him is required to ascertain some material facts associated with the investigation of the case as well as to ascertain nexus of other persons involved in the case. In case applicant is admitted to bail at this stage, there is every apprehension that he will win over the material witnesses and may threaten the complainant, which will ultimately hamper the investigation".
During the couse of hearing APP Irshad Sheikh appearing for the ACB submitted that the IO of the case while referring to some starling facts in the CD file, stated that this case is now heading towards the case of "DIS-PROPORTIONATE OF ASSETS CASE" - against the accused for which his custody is inevitable. While referring to the sort of articles recovered from the personal search of the accused at the time of trap laid on him, a bill of VARDHMAN JEWELLERS, amounting to Rs.1075916/- (Rupees ten lakh, seventy five thousand nine hundred sixteen only) was recovered from the accused pocket. He has purchased gold worth cost lakhs of rupees from the Vardhman jewellers and some more jewellery he has kept in the custody of said jeweller. That he has made some coded conversations on Whatsapp with around ten jewellers for which the accused is not decoding the Whatsapp chat. That even he has made some coded conversation with his wife about some transactions for which he is not spelling out anything. That he has multiple accounts in the banks, has many more transactions which he is not disclosing and is displaying a stubborn attitude. That granting him bail just after one week of his arrest will derail the ongoing investigation by the ACB, will also demoralize the morale of the ACB which is all committed to expose corruption and corrupts in the officialdom of the UT of J&K and Ladakh.
While rejecting the bail application, Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Tahir Khurshid Raina had observed that this court is quite conscious of these principles to be given a salutary status while deciding a bail application. However, in my humble appreciation, they are not to be applied blindly to the case to grant bail to the accused in a platter by the court on mere filing of the bail application, just in recognation of his right to life and liberty. But, the aforesaid principles have of course to be invoked and applied as per the facts and circumstances of the given case in which bail is preferred by the accused. In fact a fine balance is of course to be struck by the court between the two aspects i.e right to life and liberty of the accused to that of fair and effective investigation in the case.
Court further observed that so far as prima-facie case against the accused is concerned, there is absolutely no debate on it, nor even the counsel for the defence objected to the veracity of the trap. Rather he started his arguments by stating that once trap is successful, nothing is left to be investigated, hence bail be granted to the accused. In context of gravity of the offence and its impact on the society is concerned, it is said "The corruption breeds in-equality and in-justice in the society and further widen the gap between the haves and have nots"... The corruption in public institutions shakes the people's confidence and crumbles the social fabric of the society. "Corruption is a cancer that steals from poor, eats away at governance and moral fibre and destroys trust" as said by Robert Zoellick, the eleventh president of the world Bank.
While rejecting bail application, Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Tahir Khurshid Raina noticed in the CD, the level of accusations against the accused, stage of the investigation, the conduct and non-cooperative behaviour of the accused as stated by the IO in context of various transactions allegedly made by the accused as revealed in the investigation, and this Court found all such factors simply sustaining the case of the prosecution to deny the bail to the accused than to grant him same at this stage.

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