Patna HC denies pre-arrest bail to IPS officer accused of hiring conman to pose as Chief Justice to influence corruption probe

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The IPS officer was accused of intervening to release a seized liquor consignment while being posted as the Superintendent of Police of the area. 

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

While denying relief to the accused officer, the bench of Justice Anjani Kumar Saran said that "corruption and bribery is a matter of serious concern and threat for the economical stability of India".

During his tenure as the Superintendent of Police (S.P.) at Jehanabad and Begusarai and Senior Superintendent of Police, Gaya, the accused IPS officer allegedly intervened to release a seized liquor consignment. Later, a criminal case was lodged against him.

It was in connection with this case that the officer was accused of hiring a conman, who tried to influence the probe by calling up the then Director General of Police, S.K. Singhal while posing as the then Chief Justice of the high court.

Later on, the Economic Offences Unit of the police registered a case for the offences punishable under Sections 353, 387, 419, 420, 467, 468 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 (C) and 66 (D) of the I.T. Act.

Apprehending his arrest in the above said case, the officer prayed for pre-arrest bail before the high court. His counsel argued that the accused officer had been falsely implicated in the case under a deep-rooted conspiracy hatched by higher police officers of the department.

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

The counsel submitted that there were some indisciplined subordinate officers who were working under the accused officer, and when the officer made a complaint about those officers to his IG, Mr. Amit Lodha, no action was taken.

Later, he found out that some SHOs of different police stations (Officer-in-Charge) were regularly meeting with the IG who was also visiting Jharkhand frequently without officially informing his subordinates or higher authorities, the counsel for the accused officer alleged. 

On the other hand, the counsel appearing for the EOU vehemently opposed the bail and submitted that the accused officer, in association with co-accused, Abhishek Agrawal @ Abhishek Bholpalaka conceived a plan to dupe the then DGP, Bihar to get the case of accused closed. 

The counsel apprised the court that in investigations, it was found that Agrawal and the accused officer had been in regular touch. The extraction reports of the mobile numbers of both the accused persons also show that the accused officer had an active participation in the crime alleged, the counsel stressed.

"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," court observed. 

Court underscored that "there was ample evidence on record against the accused officer in the form of electronic evidence also, which not only disclosed but also established the connivance, collusion and active participation of the officer as a mastermind, who got the plan executed through co-accused".

Accordingly, court opined that the case was not fit for grant of pre-arrest bail to the accused officer. 

Moreover, before parting with the case, court directed the high court registry to place a copy of the order before the Chief Justice for taking appropriate decisions on the administrative side as two Judicial Officers had also been found to be involved in the present case.

Case Title: Aditya Kumar v. State of Bihar and Anr.