Pawan Kumar vs Central Bureau Of Investigation, … on 20 February, 2024

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Punjab-Haryana High Court

Pawan Kumar vs Central Bureau Of Investigation, … on 20 February, 2024

Author: Manjari Nehru Kaul

Bench: Manjari Nehru Kaul

           CRM-M-9106-2024                                                    -1-
                                                                     2024:PHHC:023973


           105         IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
                                      AT CHANDIGARH

                                                            CRM-M-9106-2024
                                                            Decided on : 20.02.2024

           Pawan Kumar                                                ...... Petitioner

                                                   Versus

           Central Bureau of Investigation, Chandigarh                ...... Respondent

           CORAM : HON'BLE MRS. JUSTICE MANJARI NEHRU KAUL

           Present : Mr. K.S.Dadwal, Advocate
                     for the petitioner.

                                               ****

           Manjari Nehru Kaul, J.(Oral)

1. This is the second petition filed by the petitioner seeking

concession of anticipatory bail in case FIR No.RC0052023A0023

dated 31.07.2023 under Sections 7, 7-A and 12 of Prevention of

Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120-B IPC registered at Police

Station CBI, ACB, Chandigarh.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the

petitioner had joined the investigation pursuant to the order dated

30.10.2023 (Annexure P-5) wherein directions had also been issued

to the investigating agency that in case, the petitioner was to be

arrested, five days advance notice would be given to him.

It has been further submitted that despite the petitioner

having duly joined the investigation and having cooperated with the

investigating agency, including having given his voice samples, his

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2024.02.21 17:39
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integrity of this document
CRM-M-9106-2024 -2-
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arrest was still being sought by the investigating agency on totally

vague and cryptic grounds, as would be evident on a perusal of the

notice of arrest served upon the petitioner vide Annexure P-7.

It has still further been submitted that a totally fabricated

case has been planted upon the petitioner as neither the alleged trap

proceedings were conducted against him nor any recovery of tainted

money effected from his possession; in fact as per the prosecution

itself, the tainted money had been recovered from co-accused Koki.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the petitioner

had cooperated with the investigating agency when he was directed

to join investigation earlier and nothing was required to be recovered

from him. Hence, his custodial interrogation would not be required in

the case in hand for which he deserved to be extended the

concession of anticipatory bail.

3. Notice of motion.

4. On the asking of Court, Mr. Gagandeep Singh Wasu, Spl.

PP for CBI accepts notice on behalf of the respondent.

Learned counsel for the CBI has vehemently opposed the

prayer and submissions made by the counsel opposite for extending

the concession of anticipatory bail to the petitioner. Learned counsel

for the respondent has submitted that FIR No.119 dated 18.07.2023

under Sections 384, 386, 341 IPC and Section 25 of Arms Act had

been lodged at Police Station Sector 31, Chandigarh against some

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gangsters, who were involved in extortion and had been dealing with

illegal weapons. During investigation of the aforesaid case, the

petitioner, who is a police official demanded a bribe from the

complainant in the present case in lieu of letting him go scot-free in

FIR No.119 dated 18.07.2023 registered at Police Station Sector 31,

Chandigarh.

Learned counsel for the CBI has vehemently asserted

that since the petitioner is a uniformed officer, it is a matter of serious

concern that he had been engaging in blatant extortion; sufficient

evidence in the form of phone calls had been collected by the

investigating agency, which substantiated the claim of bribe

demands having been made by the petitioner from the complainant.

It has been further submitted that no doubt, the petitioner was not

present when the co-accused was apprehended with the tainted

money by the trap team, however, his complicity with the co-accused

was discernible from the evidence collected by the investigating

agency so far. A prayer, therefore, has been made by the learned

counsel for the CBI for dismissal of the instant petition as the

custodial interrogation of the petitioner would be required to unearth

the role of the accused as well as some other police officials in the

crime in question. It has also been submitted that in case, the

petitioner is granted the concession of anticipatory bail, that too at

this stage, there was a strong likelihood that he could tamper with

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material evidence and also tried to intimidate/influence some

material witnesses in the case at hand.

4. I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused

the material placed on record.

5. On a pointed query put to the learned counsel for the

petitioner as to how the instant petition, which was his second petition

for anticipatory bail, is maintainable, he has submitted that the earlier

petition had not been decided on merits and had just been disposed of

by giving directions to the investigating agency to let him join the

investigation after giving him five days advance notice. Hence, the

instant petition could be termed to be virtually his first petition under

Section 438 Cr.PC.

6. The case at hand was registered on the basis of a

complaint filed by one Deepak, who alleged that illegal gratification in

the sum of Rs.7 lacs had been demanded from him by the petitioner

and co-accused Harinder Sekhon for excluding him as an accused in

FIR No.119 dated 18.07.2023, which had been registered against one

Manpreet Singh @ Mani @ Topi. Allegedly complainant Deepak

received a phone call from an acquaintance Bablu, who told him that

one of his friends Koki, co-accused is on good terms with the petitioner

and Inspector Harinder Sekhon; co-accused Koki assured the

complainant that he would help him out in FIR No.119 dated

18.07.2023 after talking with the petitioner and Inspector Harinder

Sekhon. In the meantime, petitioner was continuously threatened with

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adverse consequences including through whatsapp call made by Bablu

that in case bribe of Rs.5 lakhs was not paid, he would have to suffer

adverse consequences.

As per the learned counsel for the CBI, the petitioner is one

of the main conspirators of the crime, there are audio recordings also to

prima facie corroborate the allegations levelled against the petitioner

and the co-accused.

7. In the facts and circumstances as enumerated hereinabove

and the grave allegations levelled against the petitioner of having

demanded bribe from the complainant in exchange of not implicating

him in FIR No.119 dated 18.07.2023 coupled with the apprehension

raised by the CBI counsel of the petitioner’s likelihood of tampering

with evidence, this Court does not deem it fit to extend the concession

of regular bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, the instant petition stands

dismissed.

7. However, it is made clear that anything observed

hereinabove shall not be construed to be an expression of opinion on

the merits of the case.





           20.02.2024                                       (MANJARI NEHRU KAUL)
           sonia                                                    JUDGE


                               Whether speaking/reasoned:        Yes/No
                               Whether reportable :              Yes/No




SONIA BURA
2024.02.21 17:39
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