Sandeep Agrawal v. State of Rajasthan

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Sandeep Agrawal v. State of Rajasthan

Sandeep Agrawal v. State of Rajasthan
In the High Court of Rajasthan
S.B. Cr. Misc. B.A. 1936/2014
Before Justice Mohammad Rafiq
Decided on April 25, 2014

Relevancy of the case: Bail application in a corruption case involving more than 100 call recordings that show prima facie involvement of a public servant

Statutes & Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Section 66D)
  • The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (Section 7-12, 13(1)(a), 13(1)(d), 13(2), 14)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Section 116, 119, 120, 120B, 201, 213, 214, 217, 218, 272, 273, 308, 328, 420, 467, 468, 471, 474, 482, 483, 485-488)
  • The Copyright Act, 1957 (Section 63)
  • The Trademark Act, 1999 (Section 102, 103, 104)
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 439)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed an FIR number 526/2013 for offences mentioned in the provisions mentioned above, except the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. This FIR was registered on December 07, 2013, and it names 62 accused.
  • There are 119 call recordings of the petitioner with two individuals going by the names Dinesh Singhal and Subhash Gupta.
  • The petitioner is accused of misusing his official position and helping Dinesh Singhal in his business of manufacturing and selling Nakli Deshi Ghee.
  • The contents of recordings show how the petitioner continued to help the acquaintances of these two individuals in flouting relevant food safety laws.

 Prominent Arguments by the Advocates

The petitioner’s counsel:

  • Registration of FIR has been preceded by the investigation, which amounts to putting the cart before the horse. ACB has flouted norms and guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for conducting a preliminary enquiry. The charge sheet has been filed without the sanction of prosecution.
  • The Investigating Officer has implicated the petitioner only based on inferences drawn from a telephonic conversation between the petitioner and other individuals and has selectively made the arrests.
  • If there are two possible views to an issue, the view favourable to the accused should be adopted, is the cardinal principle of criminal jurisprudence.

The respondent’s counsel:

  • It is not correct to suggest that the petitioner has been made accused only based on knowledge. He had active participation, which is evident from the evidence on record.
  • The sanction for petitioner’s prosecution has been granted by the Director, Medical and Health Sciences for Rajasthan.
  • ACB has investigated this present case, and it does not merely focus on manufacturing/sale of Nakli Desi Ghee, but it deals with the connivance of a large number of public servants in this racket.

Opinion of the Bench

  • The court has extensively noted the detailed arguments of the learned counsel appearing on both sides. At this point, it would be premature to examine and decide any or all the issues raised.
  • All the issues raised by the petitioner can be raised before the trial court. Considering the totality of the circumstances and nature of allegations along with prima facie evidence, the court is not included to grant the bail to the petitioner.

Final Decision

  • The present bail application is dismissed.
  • The Court of Special Judge is directed to examine and consider all the noted arguments while framing the charges.
  • The petitioner shall be entitled to apply for bail again before the trial court after framing of charges. The trial court should not take any influence from the rejection of this bail application.

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