8 May 2023 4:06 PM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to entertain the bail plea filed by former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly member Kamlesh Pathak in the Gangster Act Case registered against him. Pathak approached the Apex Court challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court denying bail.While dismissing the Special Leave Petition, the Bench comprising Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna...
The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to entertain the bail plea filed by former Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly member Kamlesh Pathak in the Gangster Act Case registered against him. Pathak approached the Apex Court challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court denying bail.
While dismissing the Special Leave Petition, the Bench comprising Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna gave liberty to Pathak to file bail application after 3 months.
The Counsel appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh expressed his concern that if Pathak is enlarged on bail he would threaten the witnesses. Senior Advocate, Anjana Prakash appearing on behalf of Pathak apprised the Bench that all the witnesses apart from the Investigating Officer have been examined and thus, there is no threat that the witnesses would turn hostile. She also submitted that Pathak has been granted bail in the predicate offence (murder). Citing the fact that Pathak is 68 years of age and is suffering from certain ailments, she urged the Bench to grant him bail. Additionally, she pointed out that Pathak has already undergone 3 years in custody, i.e., minimum jail term for the alleged offence. She averred that Pathak, who is a leader of Samajwadi Party, has been booked owing to political rivalry.
The Allahabad High Court had noted in the impugned order that it did not find reasonable grounds for believing that Pathak is not guilty of such offence mentioned in the Gang Chart and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail. The High Court had also taken into account the gravity of the offence and the criminal antecedents of Pathak to deny him bail. It had opined that the case does not seem to be a misuse of the State Gangster Act and Pathak having such large criminal antecedents and being the head of the gang, is not entitled to bail.
Pathak along with 10 others were booked under Section 3(1) of the UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 in the year 2020 on the allegations that he is running an organized and active gang in the area as its ‘leader’. A Gang chart was prepared against him specifying the offences he allegedly committed, including garnering illegal ransom, illegally possessing government land, fighting, firing, and other illegal criminal activities, etc. It was stated in the gang chart that in March 2020, Pathak and his gang members caused the daylight murder of Advocate Manju Chaubey and his sister Sudha Chaubey to take illegal possession of the land. The said gang chart was sent to the office of the District Magistrate, Auraiya for sanction and once the sanction was received, the eleven members of the gang were 3 booked under the Gangster Act.
[Case Title: Kamlesh Pathak v. State of UP SLP(Crl) No. 3438/2023]
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