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HC directs CBI to expeditiously complete Investigation in SI recruitment scam

HC directs CBI to expeditiously complete Investigation in SI recruitment scam

Rejects bail plea of BSF Commandant
by Syed Rukaya

Srinagar, Mar 15: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Wednesday directed Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to expeditiously complete investigation in the sub-inspector (SI) recruitment scam and file supplementary charge sheet, if any, preferably within three months from Wednesday.

Justice Sanjay Dhar passed the direction while rejecting a bail plea of Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant Medical/CMO, Dr Karnail Singh, who was among the 24 people charge-sheeted by the CBI into the paper leak scam of SI posts conducted by J&K Service Selection Board (JKSSB) March 27 last year.

Singh filed the bail plea on the ground that his wife is suffering from a life consuming disease of bone marrow cancer and that she needs his constant care and attention.

The counsel representing the petitioner submitted that the petitioner himself is suffering from psychiatric problems and his health is deteriorating day by day.

However, the CBI through Additional Advocate General (AAG) Monika Kohli submitted that the petitioner has resorted to filing of repeated bail applications before this Court and before the court of CJM, Jammu as well as the Sessions Judge without any change of circumstances and as such, the present bail application is not maintainable.

The CBI in its reply, after stating the role of the petitioner in the alleged conspiracy, submitted that the petitioner is the main accused and the kingpin of the conspiracy. 

It was submitted that though a charge-sheet against the petitioner and 23 other accused has been filed, yet further investigation is underway to unearth the larger conspiracy as also to trace proceeds of the crime.

It was stated that the role of other accused persons as well as the other allegations leveled in the FIR is yet to be investigated.

According to the respondent, the petitioner is a habitual offender inasmuch as another FIR has been registered on November 28, 2022 against the petitioner which relates to the allegations of irregularities in the written examination of the Finance Accounts Assistants conducted by the JKSSB.

Regarding the medical ground, the CBI counsel submitted that there are other family members who can take care of the wife of the petitioner and that the petitioner is being given appropriate medical treatment while in custody in terms of the directions of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jammu.

Taking note of the pleadings, the court said, "Not only this, even the report of the Enquiry Committee set up by the government is damning against the petitioner."

In the said report, it has been stated that the petitioner had managed to induct several candidates in the BSF against financial consideration and that he had advertised secretly that he would help prospective candidates in passing the medical tests.

The report further stated that the petitioner has close links with some high and mighty politicians.

Perusing the report, the court said, "In the face of the propensity of the petitioner to indulge in similar types of offences, it may not be appropriate to enlarge him on bail at this stage when the investigation relating to the larger conspiracy of question paper leakage of Sub Inspector posts is still underway."

According to the prosecution, the petitioner entered into criminal conspiracy with the accused Jagdish Sharma, Shubam Kala, Vijay Kumar and others and pursuant to the said conspiracy, he made arrangements for providing access to the leaked question papers to his son, Shubam Kala at Gangyal. 

Accordingly, leaked question papers were brought to the residence of the petitioner by accused Jagdish Lal and three candidates were provided the leaked question paper at the residence of the petitioner with his connivance and in his presence.

It was also stated by the prosecution that the accused Jagdish Lal who had stolen one of the leaked question papers brought the same to the residence of the petitioner for selling it to the candidates and the petitioner was in constant touch with Jagdish Lal. 

The investigation has further revealed that on the date of examination, he had made three calls to the Controller of the Examination JKSSB, Ashok Kumar.

As per the charge-sheet, Justice Dhar noted, the role of the petitioner in the alleged conspiracy relating to the leak of the question paper is of "paramount importance."

"From the aforesaid allegations made in the charge sheet, which are supported by the evidence collected by the Investigating Agency during the course of the case, it is clear that the petitioner has played a vital role in the conspiracy relating to leak and subsequent sale of question papers for selection to the posts of Sub Inspector that was being conducted by the J&K SSB," it noted.

The court said that the charges leveled against the petitioner cannot, therefore, be termed as baseless as has been contended by the counsel representing the petitioner.

The court noted that the conduct of the petitioner weighs heavily against him.

Justice Dhar said that so far as the wife of the petitioner is concerned, there are other family members in his family including his son who can take care of her ailments.

"The petitioner himself is not shown to have been suffering from any such ailment that cannot be managed while keeping him in custody. Therefore, on this ground also, the petitioner is not entitled to grant of bail," the court said while denying the bail to Singh.

"However, the respondent/Investigating Agency is directed to complete the further investigation in the case and file supplementary charge sheets, if any, expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months from today," the bench said. Rising Kashmir

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