National Defence Academy (NDA) official Colonel Anil Kumar Singh was on Thursday granted interim anticipatory bail in the alleged recruitment scam of class IV employees at NDA till July 2.
The court of special judge D R Mahajan directed Singh to attend the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) whenever he was called for questioning. He was warned not to leave Pune without seeking court permission.
Singh was also asked to give his cell number to the CBI and was told not to change the number.
Apprehending arrest, Singh through his lawyer S K Jain had appeared before the court and filed a bail plea. However, the CBI opposed the interim bail on the grounds that he was not cooperating with them.Jain told the court that the CBI had conducted searches at the residence and office of Col Singh, presiding officer of recruitment board, and seized answersheets of candidates. However, no incriminating evidence was found.
Jain said Singh had not tampered with evidence. He had filed the bail plea after he received notice from the CBI asking him to appear before the investigating officer under section 160 of Criminal Procedure Code on Thursday.
His lawyer argued that Singh was ready to appear before the CBI, but he pleaded to give him interim bail as his career will be at stake if he was arrested without reasonable grounds.
The bail plea stated that Singh had reduced marks and given zero to some candidates, which goes on to show he was not involved in wrong doings. The plea reads that the CBI had recorded his statement on June 24. He was again called two days later, but he could not turn up due to ill health. Following this, he was served notice to appear on Thursday.
The plea further says, “There are certain elements who are bent on harassing and humiliating him (Singh) and obstruct his chances of further promotion by making false and frivolous allegations against him”. Singh feared that the CBI may frame him in the scam. He also raised the issue that he was not shown as a suspect in the first information report.
CBI special public prosecutor Vivek Saxena argued that Singh’s conduct shows that his interest is otherwise in the alleged scam and that he has not come to court with clean hands. Saxena alleged that Singh and others had entered into a conspiracy for recruiting undeserving candidates. Citing an instance, Saxena said a genuine candidate had secured 52 marks, but he was declared failed as he was given zero marks in the results. He pleaded to dismiss the interim bail plea.
The court after hearing both sides ordered interim anticipatory bail for Singh.
The CBI had earlier arrested Colonel Kulbir Singh, staff officer to the NDA commandant.
Others who have been arrested are Balkrishna Charanlal Kanojia, Vishnu Prasad Sharma, Dattatreya Eknath Shitkal, Manoj Marut Shitkal and Ramesh Dilip Gaikwad. Singh and five others have been sent to CBI custody till July 2.
Establishment officer gave Rs 30 lakh to army officer
PUNE: The CBI in its remand report filed before the special court here on Thursday said NDA establishment officer Suhas Shankar Waghmare, arrested in the alleged recruitment scam, had given Rs 30 lakh to Colonel Kulbir Singh after receiving the money from suspect Ramesh Gaikwad.
Waghmare was produced before the court after his two-day CBI custody expired on Thursday.
CBI special public prosecutor Vivek Saxena asked for a custody extension of seven days citing that he (Kulbir Singh) received Rs 30 lakh from eight candidates. Saxena said the suspects demanded Rs 4 lakh each, that is Rs 32 lakh, from eight candidates. The amount was negotiated to Rs 30 lakh. The candidates and their parents had disclosed that they gave the money to suspect Ramesh Gaikwad, who in turn, handed over the amount to Waghmare, Saxena said.
The prosecution pressed to extend his custody as there was sufficient incriminating evidence against Waghmare that he played a key role in the liaison between Col Anil Kumar Singh, Col Kulbir Singh and other suspects.
Opposing the prosecution’s plea, Waghmare’s lawyer Suchit Mundada argued that the NDA never received complaints that the suspects had demanded bribe from the candidates.
Mundada submitted that the confessional statement given by his client was not admissible under section 24 of the Evidence Act. He pleaded to sent his client to judicial custody as the agency had not cited cogent reasons for extending his custody.
Special judge D R Mahajan sent Waghmare to judicial custody till June 2, but it reserved the CBI’s right to seek his custody if it comes across evidence against him in 15 days.
Mundada said he will file Waghmare’s bail plea on July 2.
-via The Times of India.