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Assam Cash-for-Job Scam: Supreme Court Stays High Court's Order Recalling Non-Bailable Warrants Issued Against An Accused

Srishti Ojha
13 Jan 2022 9:17 AM GMT
Assam Cash-for-Job Scam: Supreme Court Stays High Courts Order Recalling Non-Bailable Warrants Issued Against An Accused
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The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday stayed the Gauhati High Court's order granting relief to an accused in the Assam Public Service Commission 'cash for jobs' scam by recalling the non-bailable warrants issued against him by the Trial Court.A Bench comprising the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli has issued notice on the special leave petition...

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday stayed the Gauhati High Court's order granting relief to an accused in the Assam Public Service Commission 'cash for jobs' scam by recalling the non-bailable warrants issued against him by the Trial Court.

A Bench comprising the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli has issued notice on the special leave petition filed against High Court's order dated 7th July 2021 directing recall of the Non-bailable warrants issued by the Trial Court and directing the accused to appear before the Trial Court within 7 days.

The High Court had further directed that on such appearance by the respondent accused, the Trial Court he shall be released on bail

The Respondent has been charged for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

During the hearing, Senior AAG Nalin Kohli appearing for the State of Assam informed the Court that the respondent is an accused in the infamous cash for job scam in Assam.

"The High Court has directed to appear before Trial court and thereafter relief of bail because he is a Government employee" the Bench said

Senior AAG Kohli argued that the accused was one of the touts collecting money in the scam and was absconding for 4 years. The settled law is one cannot get relief of anticipatory bail and under 482 if one is an absconder

In response to Court's query regarding the respondent's job, Mr Kohli said that the accused is in the soil conservation department. He added that these were officials who used to collect money and work with Chairman of APSC.

The State of Assam through Advocates Shuvodeep Roy and Ankit Roy has argued that the investigation carried out by the Assam Police from 2016 onwards has revealed that an enormous fraud had unraveled and it had been found that a number of persons participated and become beneficiaries in this enormous fraud for securing public appointments in the State of Assam in exchange for illegal gratification and other benefits.

Further, the State has submitted that the accused in the criminal proceedings not only include members and officers of the Assam Public Service Commission but also includes touts as well as identified beneficiaries who have been found to have indulged in colossal fraud for obtaining public employment by illegal means.

The State has argued that the supplementary chargesheet has revealed that the respondent has been one of the prime accused in the entire scam and has worked as the middlemen of the officials of APSC. Further, he used to collect money from the prospective candidates who appeared in the APSC examination.

It has been pointed out by the State that the statements of the arrested candidates and the officials has corroborated the involvement and the active role played by the Respondent accused in running the entire racket of illegal appointments in APSC examinations.

The State has argued that the respondent accused had remained absconding during the entire period of investigation. The Special Judge has therefore issued Non-Bailable warrants and thereafter, declared him as a 'Proclaimed Absconder'.

The State has argued that an application filed under Section 438 of the CrPC is not maintainable if the accused has been declared as a proclaimed absconder. Further, the High Court cannot exercise its power under Section 438 CrPC to recall non bailable warrants and grant bail when accused is an absconder 

Case Status: State of Assam vs Mofidul Islam

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