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Allahabad High Court grants bail to lekhpal in corruption case

The Allahabad High Court has granted conditional bail to Lekhpal Masood Ahmad Siddiqui accused of accepting the bribe amount of Rs 10,000.

A single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Masood Ahmad Siddiqui.

The application under Section 439 CrPC has been filed seeking bail in Case under Section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, Police Station Prayagraj Sector, Satarkata Adhisthan.

Accused-applicant was posted as Area Lekhpal. The complainant was allotted some land in Gata area 0.0570 hectares for agricultural purposes.

The complainant had given an application to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Phulpur on 8.6.2022 for demarcation of his land. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate had passed an order for demarcation of the land of the complainant.

The complainant contacted the accused-applicant for demarcating his land as per the order passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. However, he demanded Rs 10,000 as bribe for doing the work of demarcation of the land of the complainant in pursuance to the order passed by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

The accused-applicant was caught accepting the bribe amount of Rs 10,000.

The counsel for the accused-applicant submitted that the accused-applicant has been in jail since June 16, 2022 and he has no criminal history. His service record has been unblemished.

AGA Ravi Prakash opposed the prayer for bail, but did not dispute the aforesaid facts.

Considering the above facts and circumstances of the case, coupled with the contentions raised by the counsel for both sides, and without entering into the merit of the case, the applicant is entitled to be released on bail, the Court observed.

The Court ordered that,

Let applicant Masood Ahmad Siddiqui be released on bail in the above case crime number on his furnishing a personal bond and two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of Court concerned with the following conditions :-

(i) The applicant shall file an undertaking to the effect that he shall not seek any adjournment on the dates fixed for evidence when the witnesses are present in court. In case of default of this condition, it shall be open for the trial court to treat it as abuse of liberty of bail and pass orders in accordance with law.

(ii) The applicant shall remain present before the trial court on each date fixed, either personally or through his counsel. In case of his absence, without sufficient cause, the trial court may proceed against him under Section 229-A of the Indian Penal Code.

(iii) In case, the applicant misuses the liberty of bail during trial and in order to secure his presence proclamation under Section 82 CrPC is issued and the applicant fails to appear before the court on the date fixed in such proclamation, then the trial court shall initiate proceedings against him, in accordance with law, under Section 174-A of the Indian Penal Code.

(iv) The applicant shall remain present, in person, before the trial court on the dates fixed for (i) opening of the case, (ii) framing of charge and (iii) recording of statement under Section 313 CrPC.

If in the opinion of the trial court absence of the applicant is deliberate or without sufficient cause, then it shall be open for the trial court to treat such default as abuse of liberty of bail and proceed against him in accordance with law.

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