Updated: May 18, 2021 8:42:08 pm
A Delhi court on Tuesday has rejected the anticipatory bail filed by two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and observed that the allegations against the champion wrestler in a murder case are serious.
Kumar through his lawyers had argued before the court that the investigation against him was biased and the allegations have been made to harm his reputation.
Failing to apprehend Kumar and nine others in connection with the murder of former junior national wrestling champion Sagar Rana, 23, on May 4, the Delhi Police announced Rs 1 lakh reward for information leading to Kumar’s arrest and Rs 50,000 on his associate, Ajay Kumar, who is a physical education teacher.
On May 15, a Delhi court had issued non-bailable warrants against Kumar and nine others in connection the murder and police had issued a look-out-circular (LOC) against the wrestler.
Kumar has been on the run since May 4 when the FIR was registered against him under IPC sections 302 (murder), abduction (365), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) at Model Town police station.
On May 4, Rana, who competed in the 97-kg Greco-Roman category, was beaten to death in a clash involving two groups.
Additional Sessions Judge Jagdish Kumar who dismissed the bail plea said, “In the present case, the allegations were of serious nature. From the perusal of the record of investigation so far, it reveals that prima facie applicant/accused is the main conspirator and the FIR is not an encyclopedia. The investigation is still going on and the accused persons have not yet been arrested.”
The court said that the statements of eye witnesses have been recorded and at this stage it is not a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra who appeared on behalf of Kumar told the court that one of the alleged victims had criminal antecedents.
Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava opposed Kumar’s plea and told the court, “They had started beating and we have the electronic evidence also wherein Sushil Kumar is seen with a ‘danda’ hitting. The person who was beaten to death, was just 23 years old and is also an international wrestler.”
Luthra also told the court that Kumar’s passport had been seized by the police and his wife was summoned to the police station. “The police are yet to identify the caller who alleged that gunshots were fired. Their argument is bullets were fired in the air. Then there cannot be an intention to cause death. Clearly Sushil has not fired in the air. Invocation of section 302 (murder) is malicious if the gun was fired in the air,” Luthra told the court.
At this point, the APP told the court, “passport has not been seized. We are proud of Sushil Kumar. We feared that he might flee the country. We will return it.”
Kumar’s application stated that the entire investigation is being conducted with “a pre-determined and biased manner”. It stated that he was “innocent of all wrongdoings”. The court was told that the alleged victims “have criminal antecedents” and Kumar merely asked them to vacate a property which belonged to his wife.
The court was told that the firearms recovered from a Scorpio car did not belong to Kumar and even the cars which have been alleged to be found at the place of incident did not belong to him or his family members.
Kumar’s application also stated that he and his family were under great stress, financial and mental.
“That unfounded, baseless, scurrilous and preposterous allegations have been made against the applicant with the only motive to humiliate and harm the reputation of the applicant,” the bail plea stated adding that he “should not be compelled to face harassment, ignominy and disgrace at the instance of baseless and unfounded allegations.”
The court was told that there was a delay of 5-6 hours in registering the FIR and it was during this delay that Kumar was falsely implicated.
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