The Gujarat High Court Friday granted anticipatory bail to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand in the Rs 1.4 crore alleged fund embezzlement case related to their NGO Sabrang Trust.
While allowing their anticipatory bail plea, Justice J B Pardiwala directed Setalvad and Anand to cooperate with the probe and appear before the investigating agency, the city crime branch, on February 15.
In a word of caution, the judge said the state government can approach the court to get their bail cancelled if the couple does not cooperate in the investigation.
The activist couple had moved the high court in May last year after a lower court rejected their anticipatory bail plea in the alleged fund embezzlement case.
The duo had moved the lower court following an FIR lodged against them on March 30 last year by the complainant Raees Khan Pathan, a former aide of Setalvad.
Pathan had lodged a complaint against the duo and some unidentified officials of the HRD Ministry, following which they had been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
It is alleged that both the accused had misused the funds to pay witnesses to make false deposition in some of the post-Godhra riot cases of 2002.
In its earlier submissions, the Gujarat Police had said that the HRD Ministry had granted Rs 1.4 crore between 2010 and 2013 to their NGO for a scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
According to police, the couple had misused the funds, meant for education, for their “personal and political cause”.
The Calcutta High Court today granted anticipatory bail to BJP leader and former railways minister Mukul Roy on a bond of Rs 50,000 in connection with a complaint over the death of his “mentor” Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy in 2015.
A division bench comprising Justices Joymalyo Bagchi and R K Kapur directed Roy to meet the investigating officer at Bijpur police station in North 24 Parganas district once a fornight, apart from furnishing Rs 50,000 bail bond as conditions for granting anticipatory bail to him.
Roy, who was a senior Trinamool Congress leader before joining the BJP in November last year, was also directed by the court to cooperate with the investigation by the state police.
The court had in January directed the police not to arrest Roy during the pendancy of his anticipatory bail application.
Roy had moved the bail application challenging an FIR filed by the sister of Mrinal Kanti Singha Roy who was said to be his mentor during his early days in politics and had died of complications after a road accident.
Singha Roy had allegedly suffered a road accident on June 8, 2011 at around midnight while returning home at Kanchrapara from Halisahar in North 24 Parganas district and was treated at a nursing home there and then at a private hospital in Kolkata.
Following his release from the hospital, Singha Roy was kept in a lodge under the supervision of Roy, who was then in TMC, according to the complaint.
Singha Roy’s sister Sonali alleged that he was shifted to the Kolkata hospital and on his release was kept in the lodge on the instructions of Roy instead of being taken home.
It was stated that during his stay at the lodge, Singha Roy suffered a throat infection and died after prolonged treatment at the city hospital.
Sonali alleged that she had learnt from the hospital that Singha Roy had suffered internal haemorrhage, which she claimed could be due to serious injury and suspected Roy’s role in the matter.
Lawyers for Sonali Singha Roy had told the high court that her attempts to lodge a police complaint had failed, following which she had moved the local court which directed the police to file an FIR.
The Delhi High Court has refused to grant anticipatory bail to two central government employees in connection with a transfer racket at the Army headquarters here in which officers allegedly paid lakhs of rupees to manipulate their postings.
Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal declined the relief to Hyderabad-based army officer G Purshottam and Bengaluru-based Barrack Store Officer (BSO) S Subash, saying “merely because the petitioners are government servants, they do not enjoy any immunity from arrest if they have committed an offence”.
“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances and the nature and gravity of the alleged offence, this court is not inclined to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioners in this case. Hence the petition stands dismissed,” the court said.
The two officials had approached the court seeking anticipatory bail on the ground that they had fully cooperated with the CBI officials during the search and probe.
Purshottam had claimed that the FIR does not disclose any motive or reward with respect to his role in the case.
Opposing their plea, CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Rajdipa Behura had contended that the investigation was commenced on the basis of an information received.
“The information was fortified by the surveillance of the phones of the accused persons which clearly prove that the petitioner Subash handed over the bribe money to petitioner Purushottam thus it is for this reason that custodial investigation assumes importance,” CBI had said.
Besides them, the CBI had arrested Lt Colonel Ranganathan Suvramani Moni, posted in the personnel division of the Army, and alleged middleman Gaurav Kohli in connecting with the case. Moni and Kohli were later granted bail by a trial court.
The CBI told the high court that an FIR was registered on June 1 against Moni, Purshottam, Subash and Kohli for various offences including alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption.
The bribe was paid through hawala channels, the CBI had alleged in its FIR, adding that Moni had entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kohli and Purshottam, an army officer posted in the engineer stores department (ESD), Kakinara, for influencing the transfer of various officers.
Purshottam allegedly contacted army officers who were either posted in different field formations or faced imminent transfer and were desirous of getting posted to their preferred locations.
He used to contact Kohli, who was close to senior officers in the personnel division of Army headquarters here, CBI had alleged.
Kohli used these contacts to pursue transfers of army officers for huge illegal gratification, the FIR had claimed.
Purshottam had allegedly requested Kohli to pursue the posting of one D S R K Reddy and Subash in exchange for bribe, it had claimed. Both wanted to be posted from Bengaluru to Secunderabad or Visakhapatnam.
Moni assured Subash that he would help him in getting transferred through senior officers in the army headquarters against payment of illegal gratification, it had alleged.
Subash had allegedly delivered Rs five lakh as bribe to Kohli through hawala operators out of which Rs two lakhs was transferred to Moni for obtaining the favourable posting.
The court noted that it was revealed during the probe that Purshottam and Subash were actively involved in the commission of offence which could be seen from the telephonic interceptions that showed they were in regular touch with other co-accused for obtaining the favourable posting order for Subash.
It noted that Purshottam had allegedly facilitated the delivery of illegal gratification from Subash to the other co-accused.
“Moreover, it has been revealed from the investigation that a sum of Rs 3 lakh, part amount of the bribe money, has been seized from the custody of Purshottam,” the court said.
A Delhi court today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of former ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant Swami Om, who along with his associate is accused of molesting and threatening a woman, saying the allegations against him were grave and he could hamper the investigation.
Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal declined the relief to Swami Om, saying he could intimidate witnesses and that no ground for anticipatory bail was made out at this stage.
“Considering the grave and serious allegations against the accused and considering his past involvement and the fact that there are chances of intimidation of the witnesses as well as hampering of investigation by him, no ground for anticipatory bail is made out at this stage. The application is dismissed,” the court said.
It noted Swami Om was involved in four other cases and that the anticipatory bail plea of co-accused Santosh Anand Swami has already been dismissed by the court.
The court passed the order on the anticipatory bail plea filed by Swami Om who has alleged that he has falsely been implicated in the case as he has been advocating Indian culture and that anti-social elements wanted to stop his “social activity”.
Denying the allegations against him, the accused had said that on February 7 when the alleged incident took place, he spent his day in different offices of Delhi Police seeking security.
The court, however, rejected his plea of alibi saying that prima facie it does not appear to be plausible as the IO informed it that he had checked the visitor’s register of the office of the DCP (Central district) and there was no entry of the accused on February 7, when the alleged incident took place.
Regarding the CCTV footage of the DCP office, the IO said it has been automatically deleted for that period and it is not possible to retrieve it, the court noted.
The call detail records of Swami Om’s mobile phone also showed his location in the afternoon at Rajghat deport here, the place of alleged occurrence, it said.
The court said the victim has reiterated the contents of her complaint in her statement recorded before a magistrate where she named Swami Om along with others as those who abused her in filthy language, molested her and tried to drag her in a room with an intention to rape her.
A local court has cancelled the anticipatory bail of Bollywood film producer Karim Morani, who was booked for allegedly raping a Delhi-based woman.
The Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Court at L B Nagar in the city yesterday cancelled Morani’s bail and directed him to surrender before the Hayathnagar police here on or before March 22.
The woman, aged around 25, who is a friend of Morani’s daughter, had lodged a complaint with Hayathnagar Police in January this year alleging that he had raped her on different occasions in Mumbai and at a film studio in Hyderabad in 2015.
She had also alleged that Morani made a false promise of marrying her, police said based on the complaint.
Based on the complaint, a case was filed under IPC sections 417 (cheating), 376 (rape), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 (criminal intimidation), 493 (cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage) and others.
Later, Morani had obtained anticipatory bail from a local court on January 30.
However, the police then filed a petition in court seeking cancellation of his anticipatory bail.
“After the court granted him anticipatory bail, we opposed and filed bail cancellation application and produced evidence in the court,” Inspector, Hayathnagar police station, J Narender Goud said.
“The court, while upholding the arguments of the prosecution, cancelled Morani’s anticipatory bail and directed him to surrender before police on or before March 22,” Goud said.
The Orissa High Court today allowed the anticipatory bail application of BJD MLA Debesh Acharya, booked by police in connection with alleged involvement in the attack on the convoy of two Union ministers in June.
A single bench of Justice Debabrata Das granted the bail to the ruling party legislator from Baragarh who was booked under section 307 (attempt to murder) and section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC in the case.
The convoy of Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar, cabinet colleague Sadvi Niranjana Jyoti, former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and several other BJP leaders were attacked by a group of BJD supporters at Baragarh on June 24.
While the state government has ordered for an administrative inquiry into the incident, police have registered a case booking several BJD leaders under different sections of IPC.
The high court till date has granted advance bail to at least six of the accused persons, including the MLA’s brother Sambit.
On June 15, the girl in a complaint to Raigarh Collector and SP had alleged that Dhritlahre molested her several times in May this year when she was working as maid at his official residence under Kharsia police station.
Dhritlahre was immediately transferred to the office of the Collectorate after the alleged incident came to light.
Subsequently, the victim had lodged her statement before a four-member panel constituted by the Collector to investigate the issue. An FIR was lodged against Dhritlahre?under?section?354?(assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC and?section?8 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
Dhritlahre is on medical leave since the FIR was lodged against him and has not been arrested.
“Efforts are on to arrest the SDM. We tried to contact him on his mobile but it was switched off. However, notices have been sent to his residence based at Kharsia and Raipur seeking his presence in the police station,” Raigarh Additional Superintendent of Police UBS Chauhan said.
The High Court of Bombay has continued till tomorrow ‘protection from arrest’ granted to an analyst, who has sought anticipatory bail following a complaint lodged by Indiabulls Financial Services that he and his firm tried to extort money for holding back an adverse report.
The applicant Nitin Mangal has been asked by Justice R C Chavan to appear before Cyber Crime Branch of Mumbai police who are investigating the case and answer its queries.
According to Indiabulls, due to an adverse research report by the company for which Mangal was working, Indiabulls share price dropped on August 8 last year. Further, it says, it had been asked to shell out USD 40,000, if the reports were to be withheld from publication for a day.
However, Mangal contends in his anticipatory bail plea that the drop in the share price was due to shortcomings in the accounts and corporate governance practises of Indiabulls.
His lawyer Amit Dube submitted that Mangal was just a co-author of the report written by Niraj Monga. Both worked for Canada-based Veritas Investment Research Corporation, which makes its reports available only to its subscribers.
“If the company was in the business of research and making reports, it is enigmatic that the company was ready to hold the report for a prospective subscriber who was expected to cough up USD 40,000 as subscription,” the Court observed posting Mangal’s bail plea for order for tomorrow.
After being on the run for 10 days, controversial former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda surrendered before police in the wee hours today and was arrested in connection with the suicide of his former employee Geetika Sharma.
Kanda, who was absconding for the past 10 days after police served him a notice to appear before them to join investigations, surfaced at Bharat Nagar Police Station at 4 am.
Before entering the police station, he told reporters that he was joining investigations as directed by the Delhi Police.
“Kanda has surrendered and we have arrested him,” P Karunakaran, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) told PTI.
Delhi Police had conducted over 60 searches and raids in Haryana, Goa and Siliguri in West Bengal, besides questioning around 30 people in connection with the case. His brother Govind Kanda was also arrested yesterday for allegedly helping Kanda evade police.
Kanda’s employee, Aruna Chaddha, a senior functionary with now defunct MDLR airlines, has already been arrested and is in judicial custody in connection with the suicide of 23-year-old air hostess Geetika Sharma, who allegedly took her life on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence.
In her suicide note, Geetika had alleged that Kanda and Chaddha were harassing her to rejoin the former minister’s firm after she left the job.
Reacting to Kanda’s surrender, Geetika’s brother Ankit said, “This is a planned and well thought out entry. Now my only fear is that the investigations will be impartial of not. 12 days is enough to destroy evidence.Whatever power Kanda could have used to tamper with evidence he has. The investigation should be transparent.”
“I want his interrogation to be done before camera and a retired judge so that he does not change his statement,” he said.
Ankti said Geetika’s Facebook account has been deactivated and alleged that Kanda was behind it.
“I have informed the DCP about it. I don’t know who or how it was done.Kanda is behind it,” he said.
He also alleged that the Haryana Government is supporting Kanda.
The anticipatory bail plea of Kanda was dismissed by the Delhi High Court yesterday which said that despite being a “free man” he himself did not file it and it was a “sufficient” ground for its rejection.
The court also came down heavily on Delhi Police for not pressing its plea before the magisterial court to search his premises in Haryana.
Without going into the legal and factual contentions raised by Kanda’s lawyer in the day-long hearing, Justice P K Bhasin had said, “In my view, this anticipatory bail application is liable to be rejected, without going into the merits at all, only on the ground that the same has not been filed by the person apprehending his arrest.”
The Rohini Court on Thursday had issued a Non Bailable Warrant (NBW) against Kanda.
Kanda, who was last seen coming out of his Gurgaon residence on August 8, was served with a notice to join investigations on August 7.