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Thursday, 1 October 2020

Police in dock for sending back accused required to be arrested

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 30

The Haryana Police are in the dock for sending back an accused required to be arrested in an alleged Rs 30 crore VAT evasion case. Taking cognisance of the matter, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to explain the circumstances in which the accused was sent back when he was required to be arrested.

The direction by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan came on a petition filed against Haryana and another respondent by Govind for grant of anticipatory bail in connection with an FIR registered on July 11, 2019, for cheating, forgery and other offences at the Chandni Bagh police station in Panipat district.

The matter was placed before Justice Sangwan's Bench after his anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by the Panipat Additional Sessions Judge. When the petition was filed in the High Court, interim protection was not granted to the petitioner considering the seriousness of allegations. The state was directed to file an affidavit on the petitioner's role.

Justice Sangwan expressed surprise that the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), State Crime Branch (H), Madhuban, had filed an affidavit, stating that there were serious allegations against the petitioner. He was called to join the investigation on September 23 and certain admissions were made in his statement. From the investigation, his role was found to be highly dubious and he was found not to be cooperating in the investigation. Without any protection, the petitioner was not arrested and released by the DSP.

Justice Sangwan asserted: "It is very strange and surprising that the affidavit itself speaks about the mala fide on the DSP's part and further smells out favouritism to the petitioner for some extraneous consideration."

Justice Sangwan noted that the petitioner's anticipatory bail plea was dismissed on August 31 and the state's stand was that 44 firms had been registered on a mobile number by the petitioner facing the allegation of Rs 30 crore VAT evasion. Justice Sangwan pointed out that the DGP was required to look into the contents of the DSP's affidavit.

Justice Sangwan asked him to explain the circumstances under which the petitioner was directed to join the investigation and sent back when he was required to be arrested, especially when the deponent stated in the affidavit that the petitioner's role was found to be highly dubious.

Justice Sangwan made it clear that the affidavit was directed to be filed by the DGP regarding investigation conducted by the DSP much before the next date of hearing. The case would now come up in the third week of November.

from The Tribune

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