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news details
Gandhi Nagar robbery case: Court rejects bail plea of gangster
1/16/2023 11:12:42 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Jan 16: Excise Magistrate Jammu Umesh Sharma today rejected the bail application of one of the gangster involved in broad-day robbery case at Gandhi Nagar here.
The allegations against the applicant/accused are regarding commission of offences punishable u/s 395/342/120-B IPC, 3/25 Indian Arms Act. Police report reveals that on 07.12.2022 at 7 am, ten armed persons, wearing upper jersey and caps of J&K police, entered into the house of the complainant and held him as well as his wife, parents, 2 domestic helps and driver as hostages on gun point and left the house at 12.30 PM after taking extortion money of Rs. 12 to 15 lakhs.
During the investigation of the case, five accused, including the applicant, have been arrested. At the time, when the police was effecting the arrest of the mastermind of the case namely Harpreet Singh, he fired upon the police party. On disclosure of accused Harpreet Singh, 4 pistols, 6 magazines, 57 live rounds, 3 handcuffs, Rs 4, 25,000/- cash, 6 upper Jersey with logo of J&K Police, 10 police caps with logo of J&K Police, 2 facemasks, 1 notebook, 8 tapes, one pair hand gloves, one black colour trouser, one pair of black formal shoes were recovered. The SIT has found that the main conspirator namely accused Harjeet Singh had planned six different incidents of dacoity, kidnapping and target killing and for accomplishing these plans had contacted the applicant as well as other gangsters of Punjab. For the successful execution of the present dacoity, the applicant had visited Jammu on two different occasions with the main mastermind namely Harpreet and had also received Rs. 14,000/- in this connection.
The applicant was also in touch with the other accused Manjeet Singh who was directly reporting to accused Harpreet Singh. Plan for executing the instant robbery was hatched at the residence of accused Harpreet in Jammu and it was decided that each of the associate including the applicant would receive Rs. 5 lakh after the occurrence. Thereafter, the applicant returned to Punjab but refused to come back to Jammu for executing the robbery as he had some family issues at Punjab but agreed to provide safe hideouts for the absconding accused persons.
Through its supplementary report, the SIT has submitted that as per the CDR details, more than 100 phone calls have been exchanged between the applicant and accused Manjeet Singh @ Fauji and the frequency of these calls had increased manifold between 05.11.2022 to 15.11.2022 during the period when the applicant visited Jammu to recee and finalize the robbery plan.
This all suggests the nature and gravity of the circumstances in which the offences have been committed. Offence punishable u/s 395 IPC is punishable with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine and the offence is triable by Court of Sessions thus is very serious in nature.
Pertinently, the occurrence involved in this case is first of its kind and has never been heard of in the past in Jammu. It has taken place in the heart of the city that too in broad day light. The complainant of the case is a practicing advocate. The area where the dacoity has been executed is nearby high security zone and is considered as one of the safest area of Jammu. The accused persons are operating as a gang. Few of the members of this gang hail from Punjab and are still evading their arrests. Recoveries in the instant case have been effected from Jammu as well as from Punjab and thus it appears to be an interstate gang.
This gang uses weapons and has a criminal background. The head of this gang has even fired upon the police party. The involvement of this gang is possible in other high profile murder cases also.
The CDR reports, the tower locations of the applicant and the disclosure of the other accused persons especially accused Manjeet @ Faoji, detailing the involvement of the applicant in the crime in minute details, prima facia establishes a case against the applicant.
Therefore, the arguments of the Ld. Counsel for the applicant that the exchange of almost 100 calls, that too prior to the commission of the crime, between the applicant and accused Manjeet @ Faouji against whom almost 20 criminal cases have been registered, is no evidence against the applicant are not sustainable. The police case discloses that the applicant is one of the main conspirators and has played his role prior to the actual occurrence as well as in recceing the house of the complainant and had also ensured safe hideouts for the accused who have executed the main robbery. Needless is to reiterate here that a conspiracy is a march under a banner and is hatched in the darkness of secrecy and its proof by direct evidence is not easy to get.
Excise Magistrate Jammu Umesh Sharma after hearing Advocate Narinder K Attri for the applicant Raja Singh whereas APP Yogesh Bamba with SHO Gandhi Nagar Pankaj Sharma and Advocate Sahib Aggarwal complainant in person, observed that the robbed money is yet to be recovered and many other accused persons involved in this day light robbery are yet to nabbed by the SIT, therefore, mere factum of accused being in Judicial custody can't entitle him to seek bail especially when he is involved in such a serious crime. Indisputably, the applicant, at present, is in judicial lockup but it doesn't mean that the investigation of the case is complete. Prima facia, it appears that in case the accused is enlarged on bail, there is every apprehension that he may tamper with the evidence and may also come in contact with absconding accused persons and may then hamper the investigation of the case. While deciding the plea of the accused for bail, the antecedents of the accused can't be ignored. Antecedent is regarded as an important factor which is to be duly considered. Police report would show that the instant case is not the only case registered against the accused but the applicant/accused, as per the record submitted by the SIT, was also involved in three more FIRs registered in Dasua Hoshiyarpur Punjab.
The said fact would clearly indicate that the applicant/accused is not a first time offender. Court considered the prayer of the accused for grant of bail in the light of the various circumstances stated above and in view of the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the considered view that a strong prima facia has been made out against the applicant/accused. Offences allegedly to have been committed by the accused are very serious in nature and are considered as menace and threat to the society. Personal liberty of the accused is without any doubt his constitutional guarantee but the same can be refused in accordance with the procedure established by law and is required to be balanced with the impact of the offence upon the society.Therefore, in view of all what has been discussed hereinabove, the prayer of the applicant for grant of bail is rejected and the application is hereby dismissed. —(JNF)
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