February 11, 2021 3:43:17 am
Gujarat High Court granted bail to former resident additional collector of Surendranagar Chandrakant Pandya on February 9 in a disproportionate assets case of Rs 6.74 crore which was lodged in 2019.
Pandya had spent 177 days in judicial custody.
According to ACB officials, Pandya was booked in a DA case in 2019 and arrested on August 15 in 2020 by the ACB after assets worth Rs 6.74 crore, disproportionate to his known sources of income, were found under the name of him and his family members.
“The accused was arrested on August 15 2020 and a chargesheet was filed by the ACB on October 13, 2020 in a sessions court. After the chargesheet was filed, the accused moved the Gujarat High Court for regular bail hearing in November 2020 after which a court of Justice AC Joshi granted him bail on February 9. The accused spent 177 days in judicial custody,” said an ACB officer.
Pandya was earlier booked in another DA case in 2005. Then in February 2019, Pandya and two other government officials were suspended by the state government in an alleged 800 acre land scam. In this scam, the investigators had alleged that Pandya in collusion with local officers in Chotila of Surendranagar had awarded 800 acres of land declared surplus by state government to private individuals who then had sold off 324 acres of this land to third parties.
Following his suspension, Pandya sought retirement in 2019 and subsequently a DA case was filed against him by the ACB again.
During the bail hearing, the accused’s lawyer presented that in 2005 at Rajkot, the case of disproportionate assets was filed against Pandya, but, the complainant (public prosecutor) has not disclosed the fact that in the said case, after investigation, no offence was made out and therefore, final report was filed by ACB and it was accepted by a Special Court in Rajkot.
The court of Justice AC Joshi at Gujarat High Court took into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of allegations, gravity of accusation, role attributed to Pandya, and also the fact that he is a retired government employee, to grant him bail.
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