J-K police SI recruitment scam: HC again rejects bail application of accused BSF officer

 The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has rejected a fresh bail application of a BSF officer, who is alleged to be the main accused in a scam related to recruitment of police sub-inspectors, junior engineers and finance account assistants.

Fifty-eight-year-old Karnail Singh, Commandant (Medical) in the Border Security Force (BSF), was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in October last year. The alleged scam led to the cancellation of a list of candidates selected for the posts.

Singh, who was recently granted a short-term bail of one month by a sessions court, moved the high court, seeking bail on medical grounds.

“The bail application moved by the petitioner for grant of short bail for a period of two months on medical ground is found to be devoid of any merit and substance and is liable to be rejected,” Justice M A Chowdhary said after hearing defence lawyer Sunil Sethi and senior CBI counsel Monika Kohli.

“Bail application along with pending interim application(s) is thus dismissed,” the judge said in his eight-page order.

Singh has moved about half-a-dozen bail applications since his arrest on October 18, 2022 by the CBI for allegedly using touts to get his son the question paper of the police sub-inspectors recruitment examination conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) in March that year.

He was among 24 people charge-sheeted by the agency in the case on November 12 last year and was termed as the main accused and kingpin.

Kohli said that the petitioner is the kingpin of the recruitment scam. He not only played with the careers and aspirations of aspirants but also brought a bad name to the selection body — JKSSB — and to the Jammu and Kashmir government, Kholi, who is an additional advocate general, said.

The petitioner during the period of one month for which a short bail had been granted by the sessions court, except managing certificates or prescriptions for his different ailments, did not receive any treatment, she said.

This is “evident from the prescriptions which had been made a part of the petition, and hospitalisation of the petitioner on the very date when he surrendered after expiry of short bail on July 15, there being no complicacy in the period of one month of his being on bail”, Kohli said.

The petitioner has been moving repeated applications for grant of bail just to defeat the

process of law, she said.

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Kohli said as in case of bail being granted, he being the kingpin and the main conspirator of the paper leakage scam shall make all efforts to tamper with the prosecution evidence which is yet to be produced before the court for determination.

Justice Chowdhary said the apprehension of tampering with the prosecution evidence cannot be ruled out in view of the mindset of the petitioner and in case of grant of bail, he may attempt to tamper with the prosecution evidence so as to screen himself from the charge.

“The treatment to the petitioner with regard to his various ailments can be provided to him in custody and in case he requires any specialised consultation or any surgery that can also be got conducted, which being in custody,” he said.

In July, the Jammu and Kashmir administration headed Lt Governor Manoj Sinha cancelled the selected list of 1,200 police sub-inspectors, 1,300 junior engineers and 1,000 finance account assistants following allegations of paper leak and malpractices.

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