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Allahabad High Court denies anticipatory bail plea to ex-chief engineer Noida in corruption case

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of former Noida Chief Engineer Yadav Singh.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Samit Gopa passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc anticipatory bail Application filed by Yadav Singh.

The anticipatory bail application U/S 438 CrPC has been filed with the following prayer:-

“It is therefore most respectfully prayed that the Court may kindly be pleased to release the applicant on anticipatory bail in Case Crime dated 30.07.2015 u/s 120-B IPC r/w 409, 420, 466, 467, 469, 471 IPC & Section 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of the PC Act, 1988 Police Station STF, CBI New Delhi.”

A first information report was lodged on 13.01.2012 against Yadav Singh & others as Case under Sections 120-B read with Section 409, 420, 466, 467, 469, 471 IPC, Sections 13 (1) (d) read with Section 13 (2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 at Police Station- Sector 39, Noida, Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P for the alleged corrupt practices of the executive engineer working therein between 14.12.2011 and 23.12.2011 while executing engineering work in which agreement bonds of Rs 954.38 crores were executed by Engineering Department of Noida.

The investigation concluded and the State police submitted its closure report which was accepted by the District and Sessions Judge, Gautam Budh Nagar on November 27, 2014.

Thereafter, a Division Bench of the Lucknow Bench of the Court passed an order on 16.07.2015 directing the C.B.I to conduct investigation in all the allegations of corruption and amassing of unaccounted money by Yadav Singh, the then Chief Engineer, Noida / Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authority and other persons in regards to the transactions relating to the same.

The CBI took up the case and lodged a first information report as Case at Police Station STF, New Delhi on 30.07.2015. The investigation was handed over to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, CBI, STF, Delhi.

Counsel for the applicant argued that after lodging of the first information report the first charge-sheet dated 15.03.2016 was filed against the applicant. Subsequently a supplementary charge-sheet dated 31.05.2017 was filed by the CBI against the applicant.

It is argued that the applicant was then granted bail by the Apex Court in the charge-sheets dated 15.03.2016 and 31.05.2017 vide order dated 01.10.2019 passed in Special Leave to Appeal.

It is argued that subsequently the CBI registered a second first information report as Case under Sections 120-B IPC & Section 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Police Station STF, CBI, New Delhi on 17.01.2018. The applicant was arrested in the second first information report dated 17.01.2018 on 10.02.2020 after which he was released in compliance with an order dated 08.07.2020.

It is further argued that the applicant has now come to know through news items published in Times of India dated 30.08.2019 and Jagran dated 02.07.2020 that sanction for prosecution of 09 officers is sought by CBI in Noida Cricket Stadium Project and as such he apprehends his arrest.

It is also argued that co accused Amar Chand Singh has been granted interim protection order dated 08.09.2020 passed in Criminal Misc Anticipatory Bail Application U/S 438 CrPC, S.K. Gupta, Rakesh Kumar Jain and Deepak Kumar challenged the sanction of prosecution granted against them before the Lucknow Bench of this Court in which vide order dated 08.07.2020 in their respective petitions, the Court ordered that no coercive action shall be taken against them and further Amar Chand had also preferred a writ petition before the Lucknow Bench of this Court in which vide order dated 27.01.2020 he has been granted an interim protection.

It is argued that the applicant is aged about 63 years and has superannuated as CME (Jal), Noida.

Per contra, counsel for the CBI vehemently prayed for anticipatory bail.

It is argued that as of now a charge-sheet dated 06.10.2021 under Sections 120-B, 420, 465, 471 IPC and Section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 has been filed against the applicant and 10 other persons and M/s Anand Buildtech Pvt Ltd (JV).

It is further argued that the case is related to one of the 1280 contracts of Rs 954.38 crores which were signed between 14.12.2011 and 23.12.2011 in Noida Authority in which investigation has been ordered by the Lucknow Bench of the Court order dated 16.07.2015.

It is argued that in the investigation it revealed that M/s STUP Consultant Pvt Ltd was appointed as consultant for the construction of Integrated Sports Complex including the cricket stadium project at Noida.

After having heard counsel for the parties and perusing the records, it is evident that the applicant was posted as the Chief Engineer, Nodia. He misused his official position and was involved in embezzlement of money from the State Exchequer. He is involved in two other cases. The same are different first information reports but the offences in them are separate and as such after investigation separate charge-sheets are being submitted by the investigating agency. The consideration of parameters for anticipatory bail in economic offences are all together different from other cases.

“The Apex Court while deciding a matter of economic offence at the stage of anticipatory bail has in paragraph nos’ 69, 72, 76, 77, 78, 80 and 81 in the case of P Chidambaram v Directorate of Enforcement : (2019) 9 SCC 24 has held that power under Section 438 CrPC is an extraordinary power and has to be exercised sparingly, it should be granted only in exceptional cases, nature and gravity of offence has to be seen and refusal to grant anticipatory bail would not amount to denial of the rights conferred upon the accused under Article 21 of the Constitution. It was further held that cases of economic offences stand as a different class as they affect the economic fabric of the society. It was observed that economic offence is committed with deliberate design with an eye on personal profit regardless of the consequence to the community”, the Court held.

“In view of the facts as stated above and the law on the subject as laid down by the Apex Court in the aforesaid case, the Court does not find any good ground to entertain the anticipatory bail application”, the Court observed, while rejecting the anticipatory bail application.

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