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Allahabad High Court denies bail to senior engineer of Power Grid Corporation of India in corruption case

The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of Sanjay Kumar, senior engineer of Power Grid Corporation of India, accused of corruption of lakhs of rupees by complicity in payment of compensation to farmers.

A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Sanjay Kumar.

The second bail application has been filed by the applicant in Special Case under Sections 120-B I.P.C read with Section 420 I.P.C and Section 9, 13(2), 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, Police Station- CBI ACB, District Ghaziabad, with the prayer to enlarge him on bail.

First bail application of the applicant was rejected for want of prosecution vide order dated 02.02.2023.

Senior Advocate for the applicant argued that there is no credible evidence against the applicant and he has been falsely implicated in the case.

At the relevant time, the applicant was working as Senior Engineer in Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI) and the allegation that applicant, in collusion with farmers, released excess amount in favour of the farmers and received kickbacks, is wholly false.

As per prosecution version, compensation was to be awarded to the farmers, whose crops and trees were damaged in establishment of 400 K.V transmission line by KEC International Ltd and that the dispute arose from the said compensation amount. In connection with the same dispute, prior to the first information report of the instant case, a complaint was made by a farmer and thus, the first information report of the case, on the same allegations, was not permissible under law.

In the first F.I.R, the applicant was exonerated during investigation. The allegation, levelled by C.B.I in the charge-sheet submitted against the applicant, are wholly false. The amount of compensation paid to the farmers was in absolute conformity with the policy and agreed rates. In fact, the amount was agreed between the PGCIL and the farmers and the applicant has no involvement in the same. A public notice was also issued in newspapers regarding the amount payable.

Senior counsel submitted that the applicant was not involved in determination of the compensation amount or in payment of the same and he has absolutely no concern with dispute between the farmers and the PGCIL. The number of trees, which were supposed to be cut off under the said project, were well known to the farmers. The counter check was also performed by the officials of PGCIL and the evaluation of the number of trees was made. No amount from the accounts of farmers, who have received compensation, was transferred into the account of the applicant.

In fact, the amount transferred into the account of the brother of applicant through cheque, is not concerned with the alleged compensation and that amount was returned back. The alleged payments made to co-accused Azad and Rajnish have no concern with the applicant and in fact they were well acquainted with the farmers, who have received the compensation. The amounts transferred into the account of the wife of the applicant, were bona fide transactions and in consideration of sale deeds and that the applicant’s wife has nothing to do with any kickbacks amount. The additional payment received from Rajnish, is in relation to a partnership in reference to a plot. The said partnership was dedicated to the business of plotting. The farmers did not allege any fraudulent activity against the applicant.

Senior counsel has referred the statement of witnesses, examined during investigation, and also referred certain documents and submitted that no prima facie case is made out against the applicant.

It is further submitted that now the applicant is languishing in jail since 08.06.2022 and thus, the applicant has already undergone the custody of about 13 months. The investigation is complete and thus, the applicant is no more required for the purposes of investigation.

Counsel for C.B.I has opposed the bail application and argued that the applicant was working as Senior Engineer in PGCIL and he hatched a conspiracy with co-accused Ajad and other co-accused persons and received huge amount in kickbacks through bank account of his wife, his brother and his friends and by that way, total amount of Rs 55,95,000/- was obtained, directly or indirectly, by applicant as kickbacks.

It was shown that from the account of farmer Sudhir, an amount of Rs 8,00,000/- was transferred into the account of co-accused Rajnish Kumar and an amount of Rs 8,00,000/- was transferred into account of Shalini(wife of applicant). From the account of farmer Sudhir, an amount of Rs 7,00,000/- was transferred into the account of Soniya(wife of co-accused Ajad).

Similarly, an amount of Rs 9,80,000/- was transferred from the account of farmer Sushil to the account of Ajad Singh, who in turn transferred an amount of Rs 8,00,000/- into account of said Shalini (wife of applicant).

It was submitted that after registration of the case, the applicant did not appear and thus, the process under Section 82 and 83 Cr.P.C, was issued against him and only thereafter, the applicant surrendered.

It was submitted that if the applicant is released on bail, he may tamper with the evidence.

“Considering the submission of the counsel for the parties, nature of accusations, quantum of amount obtained in kickbacks, conduct of applicant and all attending facts and circumstances of the matter, at this stage, no case for bail is made out”, the Court observed while rejecting the bail application.

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