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Allahabad High Court rejects bail application of Bahubali mafia Ramakant Yadav in spurious liquor case

The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of Bahubali mafia MLA Ramakant Yadav in connection with the death of 9 people in Azamgarh last year due to consumption of spurious liquor.

A Single Bench of Justice  Dinesh Kumar Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Ramakant Yadav.

These two bail applications under Section 439 CrPC seeks bail in the following cases:-

“(i) Crime/FIR No 060 of 2022, under Section 60A Excise Act read with Sections 272,273 and 34 IPC lodged at Police Station Phoolpur, District Azamgarh; and

(ii) Crime/FIR No 039 of 2022, under Sections 272, 273, 34, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 60-A Excise Act lodged at Police Station Ahraula, District Azamgarh.”

The FIRs came to be registered by the family of the victims, who had died after consuming country-made liquor allegedly purchased from the liquor shop of co-accused, Rangesh Yadav, a licensee, who is grand-son of sister of the accused-applicant, his close relative. Though co-accused, Rangesh Yadav is resident of District Jaunpur, but he has been issued license for country-made liquor shop at Town Mahul, District Azamgarh.

It is alleged that though the licensee is co-accused, Rangesh Yadav, but real control of the shop is under the accused-applicant.

It is alleged that nine persons had died by consuming spurious liquor purchased from the licensed shop in the name of co-accused, Rangesh Yadav.

It is further alleged in the FIRs that co-accused, Rangesh Yadav with other accused, Suryabhan, Punit Kumar Yadav, Rambhoj and Ashok Yadav are manufacturing and selling spurious country-made liquor from the licensed shop which has resulted into death of nine persons.

In the forensic examination of the VISCERA of the deceased, who had died after consuming liquor purchased from the shop allegedly under the control of the accused-applicant, methyl alcohol/ethyl alcohol poisonous substance was found. Viscera reports have been placed on record along with the bail applications.

The name of the accused-applicant has come into light in commission of the offence during investigation, however, he was not initially named in the FIRs.

After completing investigation, charge-sheets have been filed against the accused-applicant and co-accused under Sections 272, 273, 34, 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC read with Section 60-A of the Excise Act. It is important to mention here that an offence under Section 272 IPC entails imprisonment upto life as per Uttar Pradesh Amendment.

The accused-applicant had been four times Member of Parliament from Azamgarh Parliamentary Constituency and was elected five times as Member of Legislative Assembly from Phoolpur-Pawai Legislative Assembly Constituency. At present also, he represents the said Constituency in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

The accused-applicant is another Bahubali, a dreaded criminal and mafia don of Eastern Uttar Pradesh where Bahubali and Mafia culture is prevalent. This part of Uttar Pradesh is adjacent to Bihar and to some extent political discourse and culture is similar to that of Bihar. This region is dominated by Mafias Dons. These Mafias Dons have accumulated mind-boggling wealth and properties from proceeds of crimes. They have been enjoying patronage and shield from law by the Ruling Elite of the State. After entering into the world of crime, these Mafias Dons and criminals have been exercising influence, terror and fear over the poor, law abiding citizens and have forcibly/illegally properties worth thousands of crores of rupees. They have been successful in going scot-free, despite committing hundreds of heinous offences. They also get elected and become law-maker. It is a slur on Indian Democratic Policy.

The inglorious criminal history of the accused-applicant would suggest that he had been involved in as many as 48 other criminal cases and heinous offences, which would include eight cases of murder, registered under Section 302 IPC, besides cases of murder, the cases include offence under Section 307, 364 and 376 IPC, Gangsters Act, Goonda Act and SC/ST Act etc.

The aforesaid detail of the criminal cases would disclose that the first offence, which the accused-applicant committed, relates to the year 1977 and first murder, in which he was accused, relates to the year 1983. Such a dreaded criminal, gangster, bahubali and mafia got elected time & again as a Member of Lok Sabha and Member of Legislative Assembly. This shows that something is seriously wrong and amiss with the electoral system of the largest democracy of the world where criminals, like the accused-applicant, get elected time & again as a Member of Lok Sabha/ Legislative Assembly and become law-makers, the Court said.

Gopal S Chaturvedi, Senior Advocate, representing the accused-applicant, submitted that the accused-applicant has been falsely implicated in the cases as he has nothing-to-do with the liquor shop of his relative.

It is further submitted that five and half months, after lodging of the FIRs, statements of families of the deceased got recorded, which are stereotype, alleging therein that the accused-applicant is the real person behind the liquor shop and, under his umbrella, co-accused, Rangesh Yadav runs the liquor shop. The accused-applicant has overall control over manufacturing and selling of spurious liquor.

It is submitted that these statements have no evidentiary value and, they are hear-say evidence, without there being anything on record to corroborate and suggest the involvement of the accused-applicant in running the liquor shop, manufacturing and selling the spurious liquor, as alleged, or otherwise.

It is further submitted that though the accused-applicant has criminal history of several cases, however, he cannot be denied bail, as a long criminal history cannot be the sole ground to deny an accused bail, if there is no evidence to suggest his involvement in commission of offence, for which he seeks bail.

It is, therefore, submitted that the accused applicant, who has been languishing in jail since 27.07.2022, should be enlarged on bail.

On the other hand, on behalf of the respondent – State, Mahesh Chandra Chaturvedi, Additional Advocate General, vehemently opposes the bail application and submits that co-accused, Rangesh Yadav is resident of district Jaunpur and, he is only a mask and, real face, behind liquor shop, manufacturing and selling of spurious liquor, is of the accused-applicant.

It is further submitted that the accused-applicant whenever had been enlarged on bail in a case, had committed one after another offence and had misused the liberty of bail granted to him.

It is further submitted that after committing a heinous offence, he could secure acquittal as the witness for his terror, fear and influence turned hostile. It is, therefore, submitted that there is every likelihood of the accused-applicant influencing the witnesses or terrorizing them, if enlarged on bail, and such a criminal is not entitled to be enlarged on bail.

“Though the charge-sheets would disclose that the statements of the witnesses, who have taken name of the accused-applicant, could be recorded after five and a half months from the date of incident, but it appears to be true that opening mouth against such a dreaded criminal, mafia don and gangster could be to be peril of life and liberty of the witnesses and their families. Only when the witnesses could have been assured of their well-being, safety and security, would they come forward to make statements against the accused-applicant. – In the FIRs, it has specifically been mentioned that for the shop of co-accused, Rangesh Yadav, from-where the liquor was purchased by the deceased and, after its consumption, they became seriously ill and ultimately died. The witnesses have specifically said that the shop in question is under the control of the accused-applicant and Rangesh is only a front-man but the real person behind the scene is the accused applicant. It was the accused-applicant who could secure the license for liquor shop in the name of Rangesh Yadav, who is grand-son of sister of the accused-applicant. Nine innocent persons had died by consuming poisonous liquor purchased from the shop allegedly under the control of the accused-applicant. The accused-applicant has a long criminal history and no one could have any sympathy for such a dreaded criminal of heinous offences.

The Court should not take a lenient view in such a heinous offence. Nine persons had died because of the greed and inhuman act of the accused. The criminals like accused-applicants have accumulated mind-boggling wealth and properties by committing offences. Liquor is a profitable business and is mostly controlled by mafias.

Considering the aforesaid facts, the Court finds that the accused applicant is not entitled to be enlarged on bail”, the Court observed while rejecting the bail application.

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