A day after the apex court declined to grant anticipatory bail to the former SHO of Mansa Devi, Inspector Ravi Kant surrendered himself in a CJM court of Panchkula. The Inspector was questioned for almost three hours till 2.30 pm before being produced in court and was then sent to judicial custody.
While the investigating officer of the case, ACP Vijay Deswal, was neither available at his office nor answered phone call, DCP Kamaldeep Goyal confirmed the incident but refused to comment.
On December 10, a case was registered against Inspector Ravi Kant, SHO of MDC, and Home Guard Jashan Lal of the same police station under non-bailable offences of stalking and extortion after a complaint was filed by the owner of a salon in MDC with submission of videos and audios as proof of the same. The Inspector was first sent to the police lines and later suspended while the home guard was arrested at the spot. Videos of accused Home Guard, hitting, molesting and taking money from the victim had also gone viral on television and social media two days after the incident. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij had then intervened and the DGP office had marked an IG-level inquiry to be conducted by IPS Bharti Arora. The charge under the Prevention of Corruption Act was added as well.
Ravi Kant had first approached the District Court of Panchkula where his plea for anticipatory bail was dismissed terming it “a big scam of extorting money on a monthly basis”.
Kant’s plea in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana was dismissed on February 5, saying his arrest and custodial interrogation is required for a thorough and fair investigation. “It is prima facie made out that the petitioner, along with the co-accused Jashan Lal was indulging in extorting money not only from the complainant but different persons,” the order read. The state also had cited exchange of 121 calls between him and Lal to support its arguments, contending that Lal was involved in no investigation pending at the police station for them to remain that much in contact. While Kant’s counsel had made a statement that the calls were made regarding allocation of duty for VIP movement for visit at Mata Mansa Devi shrine, the court in its order said, “The explanation … seems wholly concocted”.
Kant was able to evade the police for more than two months before finally surrendering himself after availing all options.
Head Constable Anil Kumar, who was made a co-accused in the case after Jashan Lal’s disclosure statement, had been provided anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on January 15 as the victim gave a statement in his favour.
Complainant Pankaj Sharma and the victim girl had appeared in person along with their advocate before the court and submitted that “there is no role of the petitioner (Head Constable) in the alleged incident”. He was further asked to join the investigation by the court.
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