Court rejects pre-arrest bail plea of JKAS officer

 Additional Sessions Judge Anticorruption Jammu Ritesh Kumar Dubey has rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of JKAS officer Asif Amin Chandel, Block Development Officer Changa in Tehsil Gandoh of Doda district, who has been booked in corruption case.

According to the ACB case, a complaint was lodged by Sanjay Kumar, elected member of Panchayat Halqa Chanti (Balla), that he had executed works for the public under MGNREGA using his own material and labour payment of the works was made through Bank Account of card holders.

When he approached BDO Changa Asif Amin Chandel for release of payment of the completed works he told him to first talk to the concerned GRS and JE only then he will release the payment. When the complainant approached the concerned GRS of RDD, he told him to give Rs 12000 per work as bribe amount without which they would not release the remaining payment.

Few days back GRS took Rs 10,000 as commission from him but still refused to perform the works and asked for pending commission. Similarly, JE Arshad Amin demanded Rs 17,000 as bribe for himself for preparing the bill for the work done for passenger shed. Even BDO concerned refused to release genuine payment.

Complaint was entrusted to Inspector Mohammad Ashraf for conducting a secret verification who submitted the report which was found to be in consonance with the allegation leveled in the complaint. As per the complaint and verifying officer, prima facie offences under Sections 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act and 120-B IPC were made out against the accused BDO Changa Asif Amim Chandel, GRS Mansoor Ahmed and JE Arshad Amim.

Accordingly, FIR was registered at Police Station Anti-Corruption Bureau (Central) Jammu and a trap was laid. Arshad Amin, JE RDD was caught red handed while accepting bribe of Rs 17,000.

“The role of other officer/officials of RDD involved in the process of works/wage payment of MGNREGA needs to be verified in this money trail including that of the applicant (JKAS officer) and Mansoor Ahmed GRS. Applicant and GRS are not cooperating with investigation, and are evading arrest on false and frivolous grounds. There is a possibility that both of them will destroy the evidence related to the case”, the ACB submitted before the court.

“Arrest of BDO Changa Asif Amin is urgently required as both the accused are required to be confronted against each other”, the ACB further submitted, adding “role of applicant (JKAS officer) has to be examined for which custodial interrogation is required”.

While rejecting the bail application of JKAS officer, the court observed, “there is no doubt that the prosecution must establish the accusations against the accused. But the interest of investigation as well as the nature of offences must also be given weight equally”, adding “individual interest of liberty needs to be balanced well with public interest also. And in the present case, the weight of public interest is higher than the individual interest of applicant seeking bail in anticipation of arrest”.

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