Monday, October 2, 2023

Allahabad High Court grants conditional bail to Aley Hasan Khan in 26 criminal cases

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The Allahabad High Court has granted the conditional bail to Rampur Ex CO Aley Hasan Khan in 26 criminal cases.

A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Ex CO Aley Hasan Khan.

The bail application has been filed by the applicant accused in case under Sections 120-B, 342, 386, 389, 420, 447, 506 IPC, police station Azeem Nagar, District Rampur with the prayer to enlarge the applicant on bail.

The first information report of this case was lodged by the Revenue Inspector Manoj Kumar, area Khaud, tehsil Sadar, district Rampur, against the applicant and co-accused Ex Minister Azam Khan, alleging that on inquiry it has been found that the tenure-holders of 1239 area 0.114 hectare, area 0.126 hectare, area 0.089 hectare, area 0.089 hectare and area 1.294 hectare, have made applications and submitted affidavits to the effect that Ex Cabinet Minister Azam Khan and C.O City Aley Hasan Khan (applicant) have threatened and pressurized the tenure-holders to execute sale-deed in favour of the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar University and they have threatened to implicate them in false cases and they were also detained for in lock-up for one day and their lands were illegally taken over into the campus of the said university. When the said tenure-holders used to demand their possession over their lands, the accused persons used to threat them. It was also alleged that their lands have been illegally occupied by the accused persons.

It has been argued by the counsel for the applicant that applicant was working as Deputy Superintendent of Police, having unblemished career of several years, and he has been falsely implicated in this case due to political vendetta. The first information reports of all the above-stated cases have been lodged with long and undue delay and no satisfactory explanation for such delay has been shown.

The allegations made in most of the first information reports pertain to the period of establishment of the said university and the process of establishment was started since the year 2005-06 and thus, there is long delay of about 15 years in lodging of the first information reports.

In the first information reports of the cases, even no date, time or place of the incidents was mentioned. During investigation, prosecution has tried to fill up the loopholes in the prosecution case and an attempt was made to mention the necessary details like dates and places of the incident through statements of witnesses but the veracity of the allegations is wholly doubtful.

All the first information reports of the above stated 26 cases were lodged within a span of two months by making similar allegations, which are quite vague and this clearly indicate that these reports were lodged with malafide intention. During investigation, the applicant accused has filed the petition before the Court, wherein an interim order dated 25.09.2019 was passed by the court to the effect that by the next date of listing, applicant shall not be arrested in all the above-referred cases.

It was submitted that the allegations, made in the first information reports of the above-stated cases, are that the various pieces of land of the farmers/complainants were illegally occupied by the university and in that process applicant-accused used to threaten them to transfer their lands to the said university and that applicant used to confine the complainants in lock-up for some hours/one day/two days. The allegations are quite vague, absurd and inherently improbable. Except bald allegation, there is nothing to show that applicant-accused has lodged or confined any of the complainant in the lock-up of the police station. There is no satisfactory explanation that if such incidents have taken place, why the complainants did not make any complaint at that time. Further, most of the complainants / land owners have executed sale-deeds of their respective lands in favour of the said university with their own free will and by obtaining due amount as consideration. The Investigating Officer did not investigate the matters properly and in accordance with law and the charge-sheets were submitted under the influence and pressure of superior officers.

P.K Giri, Additional Advocate General, assisted by Jai Narain, A.G.A for the State has vehemently opposed the above stated bail applications and submitted that there are serious allegations against the applicant-accused.

Before proceeding further it may be observed that in case of State through C.B.I vs Amaramani Tripathi– [(2005) 8 SCC 21], the Apex Court held that a Court granting bail to an accused, must apply its mind and go into the merits and evidence on record and determine whether a prima-facie case was established against the accused. It was held that the seriousness and gravity of the crime was also a relevant consideration. The Apex Court has, in a catena of judgments, outlined the considerations on the basis of which discretion under Section 439 CrPC has to be exercised while granting bail.

The Court observed that,

Keeping the aforesaid position in view, in the matter it appears from the record that at the relevant time, the applicant-accused was working as Dy Superintendent of Police in police department. The allegations in all the above-stated cases are nearly similar and all the complainants have alleged that when the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar University was established in the year 2006-2007, the applicant-accused and co-accused Mohd Azam Khan used to pressurize and threaten the complainants in order to transfer their respective lands in favour of the said university.

It was also alleged that accused persons have assaulted the complainants and that applicant-accused and co-accused Kushalveer Singh (SHO) used to confine the complainants in lock-up of the police station, in order to pressurise them. The first information reports of all the cases have been lodged after a delay of about 14-15 years.

In the first information reports, no date, time or place of the alleged incidents have been mentioned. There is no injury report of any of the complainant. As per version of the complainants, their lands were forcibly taken inside the campus of the said university by constructing a four-wall. It was stated that many of the complainants have executed sale-deeds in favour of the said university after receiving due consideration. It was shown from the side of the applicant-accused that some of the complainants were not even not entitled to transfer the alleged pieces of lands, regarding which they have lodged the cases, and that land of some of the complainants are outside the boundaries of the university. There is no such allegation that the applicant is in possession of any of the disputed piece of land of any of the complainant. No sale deed has been executed in favour of the applicant-accused.

As per version of the complainants, their lands were forcibly taken inside the campus of the university, which is being run by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust. It was shown that the applicant-accused is neither the founder nor the trustee or member of the said Trust.

“Copy of the revenue entries, attached with rejoinder affidavit, shows that most of the disputed lands were transferred in favour of the said university on the basis of sale-deeds and the name of the university was recorded in the revenue record. It was also shown that main co-accused Mohd Azam Khan, who is founder / trustee of the said Trust, has already been granted bail. Applicant is languishing in jail since 07.05.2023 and that investigation of all the cases is complete and charge-sheets have already been submitted in the court.

In view of above referred facts, nature of accusations and all attending facts and circumstances of the case, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the cases, the Court is of the considered view that a case for bail is made out”, the Court further observed while allowing the bail application.

The Court ordered that,

Let the accused-applicant Ex C.O Aley Hasan Khan involved in the above-stated cases / crimes be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond and two local sureties each of the like amount in each case to the satisfaction of court concerned, subject to the following conditions:

i. The applicant will not tamper with the evidence during trial.

ii. The applicant will not pressurize/intimidate the prosecution witnesses.

iii. The applicant will appear before the trial court on the date fixed, unless his personal exemption is exempted by the court concerned.

iv. The applicant will not try to contact, threaten or otherwise influence the complainant or any of the witnesses in the aforesaid cases.

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