THE JAMMU and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Hilal Rather, son of former J&K finance minister A R Rather, who had been in jail for the past 10 months in connection with an alleged Rs 177-crore J&K Bank loan scam.
Ordering his release on bail subject to his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh along with two sureties of the same amount, Justice Javed Iqbal Wani after hearing both the sides observed that “deprivation of liberty tantamount to punishment”.
“Prison hell destroys the manifestation of feelings and sensibility of a person,’’ Justice Wani observed, adding that the petitioner has been languishing in jail for more 10 months and he cannot be stopped from preparing his defence, which is of an essence in a criminal trial. The discretion for grant of bail has to be exercised on the well-established propositions and principles laid down from time to time by the apex court, the judge said.
While granting bail, the court also ordered the petitioner to cooperate with the investigating agency as and when required, without fail. He will face trial before the trial court without fail and will present himself before it as and when asked to do so, the order said.
Hilal Rather was arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau on charges of misappropriation of crores of rupees granted as loan by Jammu and Kashmir Bank for construction of his ambitious Paradise Avenue township project at Narwal Bala in Jammu in 2012.
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