27 Sep 2023 11:58 AM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted interim bail to former Punjab Police AIG Ashish Kapoor in a disproportionate assets case launched against him this year. Kapoor is accused in multiple FIRs including custodial rape, torture and extortion charges. However, Justice Anoop Chitkara said that his previous criminal history is not being considered strictly at this stage as a factor...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted interim bail to former Punjab Police AIG Ashish Kapoor in a disproportionate assets case launched against him this year.
Kapoor is accused in multiple FIRs including custodial rape, torture and extortion charges. However, Justice Anoop Chitkara said that his previous criminal history is not being considered strictly at this stage as a factor for denying bail.
"Given the penal provisions invoked viz-a-viz pre-trial custody, coupled with the prima facie analysis of the nature of allegations and the other factors peculiar to this case, there would be no justifiable, further pre-trial incarceration at this stage, subject to the compliance of terms and conditions mentioned in this order."
One of the conditions is for both Kapoor and his wife to furnish their complete asset details to the investigator, within 15 days.
It is alleged that Kapoor connived with his wife Kamal to obtain more than their known sources and illegally acquire properties. Amid the ongoing lawyers' strike in the High Court, Kamal had personally appeared before the Court. She works as a teacher in a private school.
Kamal claimed that the case was an upshot of "departmental rivalry" and influence of "anti-social elements". She further claimed that she was nominated in the case by the Vigilance Bureau, only to create "pressure" upon her husband to "settle".
"Within fifteen days, the peoner shall handover his two notarized affidavits, and also two notarized affidavits of his spouses(s) if any, [One set for Investigator and one for the petitioners’ employer], mentioning the complete following details, held either individually or jointly, and cash-in-hand. If the peoner(s) fail to comply with this condition, then on this ground alone, this Court shall consider to recall the order," Court ordered.
It cautioned that while considering each bail plea of an accused with a criminal history, Court has a onerous responsibility to act judiciously, with reasonableness. It said criminal history must be of cases where the accused was convicted, including the suspended sentences and all pending FIRs. However, criminal history cannot include withdrawn prosecutions or prosecutions resulting in acquittal, discharge, quashing, closure report.
With respect to Kapoor, Court added, "During the trial's pendency, if the petitioner repeats or commits any offence where the sentence prescribed is more than seven years or violates any condition as stipulated in this order, it shall always be permissible to the respondent to apply for cancellation of this bail."
The matter is now posted on October 03, for further consideration.
Appearance: Kamal Kapoor, wife of petitioner in person, DSP Saravjeet Singh in person for State.
Counsel: Senior Advocate Bipin Ghai, Advocate Nikhil Ghai.
Case Title: Ashish Kapoor v. State of Punjab
Click here to download/read order.