The bail application of a BSF officer, the main accused in the police sub-inspector recruitment scam case, was again rejected by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday, the fifth since his arrest by the CBI in the matter in October last year.
Justice Sanjay Dhar, while rejecting the bail application of Border Security Force (BSF) Commandant (Medical) Karnail Singh, said a person, who indulges in facilitating leakage and sale of question papers related to competitive examinations, plays with the career of thousands of young aspirants, and such an act is more heinous than the offence of murder.
The high court rejected Singh’s bail application after hearing both sides, accepting the argument of senior additional advocate general and CBI counsel Monika Kohli that the investigation in the case is still underway.
The court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete further probe in the case and file a supplementary charge-sheet, if any, expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months.
The officer was arrested by the agency on October 18 last year for allegedly using touts to get his son the question paper of the police sub-inspector recruitment examination conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (JKSSB) in March.
He was among 24 persons charge-sheeted by the CBI in the case on November 12 last year and it termed him the main accused and the kingpin of the conspiracy.
Justice Dhar, in his 13-page order, did not agree with the petitioner that he was “wrongly and false implicated” in the case and said it has been submitted by the respondent that another FIR related to the question paper leak of the finance accounts assistant examination conducted by the JKSSB has been registered and the role of the petitioner has surfaced.
“Not only this, even the report of the enquiry committee set up by the government is damning against the petitioner (Singh). In the report, it has been noted that the petitioner had managed to induct several candidates in the BSF against financial consideration and that he had advertised secretly that he would help prospective candidates in passing the medical tests,” the court said.
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It said the report further records that the petitioner has close links with some high and mighty politicians.
“In the face of the propensity of the petitioner to indulge in similar types of offences, it may not be appropriate to enlarge him on bail at this stage when the investigation relating to the larger conspiracy of question paper leakage of sub-inspector posts is still underway,” Justice Dhar said.
In July last year, the Jammu and Kashmir administration headed by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha cancelled the selection of 1,200 police sub-inspectors, 1,300 junior engineers and 1,000 finance account assistants following allegations of paper leak and malpractices.
” the charges levelled against the petitioner can by no stretch of imagination be termed as ordinary charges. Economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail,” the judge said.
“The economic offence having deep rooted conspiracies and involving huge loss of public funds needs to be viewed seriously and considered as grave offences affecting the economy of the country as a whole and thereby posing serious threat to the financial health of the country,” Justice Dhar said.
The high court also took note of the repeated bail applications moved by the accused over the past five months in the court of chief judicial magistrate, Jammu, additional sessions judge and the high court.
There can be no dispute to the legal position that an accused can maintain a bail application before a superior court once his application for grant of bail by the subordinate court has been rejected without there being any change of circumstances but then the petitioner has not been to persuade this court to take a view different from the one taken earlier, Justice Dhar said.
“I do not find any merit in the bail application (of the accused). The same is dismissed,” the judge said.