Dismissing Bail petitions filed by two city businessmen – Sanjay Dahuja and Aman Grover — who are accused in a Rs 40-lakh bribery case, also involving a Chandigarh DSP RC Meena and sub-inspector Surinder Kumar of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the Punjab and Haryana High Court has raised questions on the investigations being conducted by the Chandigarh police.
Justice Jitendra Chauhan said, “The gravity of the offence and the manner in which it was designed to be executed not only exposes the hollowness of the investigating agency but is also a pointer as to how well-connected, influential people in the system have connived with each other to fleece the complainant and erode the faith of the common man in the system of police administration.”
The judgment released on Thursday reads, “This court is not oblivious to the fact that the petitioners’ right to liberty deserves to be respected. But at the same time, the justice delivery system is under obligation to ensure that the cause of justice is not sabotaged by exhibiting misplaced sympathy and compassion towards the reported manipulators, wielding influence in the society, in collusion with corrupt officials.”
The court also observed that there is no dispute about the law laid down by the court in the famous Sanjay Chandra case but “considering the status and position of the accused discussed above, I am of the considered view that the very process of trial may be adversely influenced, if the prayer to enlarge the petitioners on bail, is accepted.”
The court said if the petitioners are allowed bail, there are ample chances of tampering with the prosecution evidence and influence the witnesses as evidence of the complainant and other material witnesses are yet to be recorded during the course of trial.
The court also observed that it also appears from the records that both the petitioners, Dahuja and Arora, have played an active role for the settlement of the amount of bribe in collusion with co-accused DSP Ram Chander Meena.
Justice Chauhan also observed that cash amount of Rs 40 lakh and post-dated cheque worth Rs 30 lakh were purportedly recovered from petitioners’ possession. The investigating officer had collected material to demostrate before the court that the petitioners demanded and accepted the bribe for and on behalf of the police officers to get the matter an FIR finally compromised and not to oppose the compromise in the trial court. Also, the conversation with regard to the demand and acceptance of the bribe money was duly recorded in DVR.
After hearing CBI counsel Sumeet Goel’s arguments, the court said the petitioners had allegedly hatched a conspiracy for obtaining the bribe amount for DSP RC Meena and sub-inspector Surinder Kumar through Sanjay Dahuja.
“Aman Grover had involved himself in negotiation in order to strike a compromise in the cross FIR registered at the behest of his mother-in-law, Deepa Duggal, to reap some financial benefit. It appears, prima facie, that petitioner Aman Grover, obtained a post-dated cheque amounting to Rs 30 lakh from the present complainant, Guneet Kaur and also the bribe money of Rs 40 lakh for and on behalf of co-accused police officers, through petitioner Sanjay Dahuja,” the court said.