Court rejects bail plea of SE, AEE in corruption case

JAMMU : Special Judge CBI Jammu, Sanjeev Gupta has rejected bail applications of Hilal Ahmad Sheikh, Superintendent Engineer and Predhiman Krishan Koul, Assistant Executive Engineer who were arrested by CBI in a corruption case.

The case was registered on basis of a complaint made by complainant Mohd Adiem Parihar alleging demand of amount of bribe of Rs 3 lakh at hands of petitioner No.1 Hilal Ahmad Sheikh, serving as Superintendent Engineer, PWD (R&B), Circle Udhampur-Reasi for processing file related to technical sanction of the project awarded to complainant through tender for construction of Medical Sub-Centre in District Reasi in 2017-2018, of which complainant had executed some part of project. Reportedly, CBI laid trap at PWD Guest House at Udhampur on December 2, 2021 and graft amount of Rs. 40,000 in cash and a cheque of Rs 1,10,000 totaling to Rs 1.5 lakh, lying in an envelope which was kept in a bag by co-accused Sanjay Koul, Junior Engineer, PWD (R&B) Sub-Division Lander was recovered, which was accepted by him from the complainant on behalf of Sheikh on instructions of Predhimen Krishan Koul. Presently, petitioners are on judicial remand.

Special Judge CBI Sanjeev Gupta, after hearing both the sides, observed that in the instant case the transcript of recorded conversation at the time of verification of complaint and on the day of trap between the complainant and petitioners ex-facie suggests to be a case of demanding illegal gratification in pursuance of a criminal conspiracy between petitioners in pursuance of which co-accused Sanjay Koul was made to accept the bribe amount from the complainant which was allegedly recovered from him.

The bribe amount is alleged to have been exhorted by demanding and accepting the same as consideration for processing the file with regard to giving technical sanction of construction work allotted to the firm of complainant. Abuse of official position is attributed to the petitioners who as officials of PWD Department are admittedly governed by a set of rules regarding their conduct. “The offences under PC Act have far reaching consequences which affects the society. The individual liberty cannot be accentuated to such an extent or elevated to such a high pedestal which would bring in anarchy or disorder in the society. In other words the societal concern has to be kept in view in juxtaposition of individual liberty. Furthermore, given the status and position of petitioners, influencing of material witnesses cannot be ruled out, in case concession of bail is extended to them,” the Court observed. Court further observed that in so far as case law cited at bar by the Counsel for the petitioner, it is of no avail as proposition of law laid down with regard to the provisions of section 7 of the PC Act in the said authorities was dealt with by Apex Court at the stage of appeal after post trial of the trap cases of graft. With these observations, the Court rejected bail applications.