HC grants pre-arrest bail to then revenue officer, Nagrota

The much hyped case of tampering in revenue records, where UT land worth crores of rupees was transferred illegally in the names of locals by Revenue Authorities after hatching a criminal conspiracy with the land mafia in Jagti area of Nagrota, Justice Puneet Gupta granted pre-arrest bail to Rajesh Kumar then Tehsildar Nagrota .

Justice Puneet Gupta after hearing Adv Rahul Pant with Adv Prem Sadotra appearing for the applicant observed that it may be mentioned at this juncture that the accused Riaz Ahmed has been admitted to bail as per the submission of the learned counsel for the respondent as the challan could not be produced within the statutory period before the competent court of law. Riaz Ahmed is the one who is alleged to have fudged the revenue entries which led to execution of sale deeds in favour of different persons. The accused Rajesh Kumar has allegedly attested the revenue entries made by the accused Riaz Ahmed in the capacity of Patwari. So far the involvement of the accused Rajesh Kumar beyond this allegation has not surfaced. The said accused has any further involvement in the case cannot be commented upon in the present application. Again the argument of the learned counsel for the applicant that in case mutation has been attested by the applicant the same is subject to judicial review and the applicant cannot be framed in the case. The argument of the learned counsel cannot be entertained at this stage as the investigations are not yet over. The argument is raised by the learned counsel for the non-applicant that as the revenue record is yet to be verified and the financial transactions are not completely unraveled so far the grant of bail to the applicant can hamper the investigation. The court is of the view that as the applicant has already been suspended and cannot have direct approach to the office from where the wrong started and further that the applicant though an official has not been apprehended till date, whatever may be the reason, the court finds in the circumstances of the case that the bail in anticipation of arrest need not be denied to the applicant.

With these observations, High Court directed that in case the applicant Rajesh Kumar is arrested in the aforesaid FIR, he shall be released on bail subject to furnishing of bail bond and surety bond to the tune of Rs. 20,000/-each to the satisfaction of the I/O of the case. The applicant is directed to join the investigation within a period of three days and to attend the same thereafter as and when required and shall also not tamper with the evidence in any manner.