New Delhi [India], October 3 (ANI): A CBI court recently granted bail to a woman who is an alleged kingpin in a bribery case. This case pertains to the demand for bribes for getting approval of a proposal from the Union Ministry of Culture for setting up the Tagore Cultural Complex in Arunachal Pradesh.
Accused Akila Jangru and her co-accused Rajpal Singh Arora were arrested on August 22, 2022.
Special CBI judge Anil Antil of Rouse Avenue Court granted bail to Akila Jangru on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties in the like amount.
The court granted bail to the accused after taking note of the custody period, and additionally the fact that the accused is a female along with other submissions made by the counsel for the accused.
The court observed, "Since only the bail application of applicant/accused is being considered for which legal parameters are well established, suffice to state that payment of Rs 6 lakh by accused Akila Jangru to Baldev Singh in the year 2019 is much prior to the conversation transcript relating to some discussion about the project and payment of a commission."It is contended by the prosecution that it was advance money whereas applicant/accused refutes the same as paying the same for some project reports concerning different ministries, as noted above, the judge noted in the order of October 1, 2022.
"The payment of Rs 6 lakh as alleged by the prosecution does not appear to be in tandem with the conversation/transcript, nor does it find mention in the conversation/ transcript placed on record, creating suspicion over the case put forth by the Investigation Officer (IO). ...It is a matter of trial. No opinion is expressed hereto," the judge observed in the order.
The CBI had registered a regular FIR against Akila Jangru, Rajpal Singh, Hitesh Deori, some other unidentified public persons and/or other persons for offences under section 7A r/w section 8 of the PC Act, 1988.
The prosecution had alleged that corrupt activities have been committed by the accused persons for the approval of a proposal for setting up "Tagore Cultural Complex (TCC)", Kokoi Administration Circle, District Papum Pare, Arunachal Pradesh. Tagore Cultural Complex is a scheme run by the Union Ministry of Culture in the name of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, under which financial assistance is granted to State Governments, UT Administrations, NGOs, etc.
It was further alleged that accused persons Akila Jangru and Rajpal Singh Arora demanded illegal gratification equivalent to 10 per cent of the project cost (Rs 1.45 crores) from Kipa Robniang for getting the approval of his project from the Union Ministry of Culture.
The CBI had alleged that an advance of Rs 15 lakh was demanded from Kipa Robniang by accused Akila Jangru and Hitesh Deoriboth for approval of the project from the Ministry of culture.
Advocate Sanjiv Malik, counsel for the accused, submitted that none of the offences as alleged in the FIR even prima-facie are made out against the applicant. It was also submitted that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the applicant/ accused has ever offered any bribe money to any person.
It was argued that she is a middle-aged lady suffering from various medical issues, which requires continuous medical treatment and attention. She has two minor daughters, her husband, and her ailing aged parents to look after and support them.
While opposing the bail application, the counsel for CBI submitted that the accused in connivance and through a well-hatched conspiracy with co-accused had demanded bribe money of 10% of the project cost (Tagore Cultural Complex (TCC), for getting the project approved by the Ministry of Culture.
It was also argued that the applicant is the main Conspirator/Kingpin of the entire racket and had demanded the illegal gratification to the tune of Rs 1.45 Crores from the Complainant, in furtherance of the conspiracy and in connivance with the other co-accused.
Additionally, it was also argued that one of the main witnesses has also deposed in the statement before the court implicating the applicant/accused for the demand of said illegal gratification related to the project in question.
The applicant has herself admitted to paying bribe money of Rs. 6 lakh to Baldev Singh, Ex-Assistant Editor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for this project at the residence of co-accused Rajpal, the CBI argued.
The investigation agency also argued that there are a number of suspicious transactions reflected in her bank statements/accounts for which further investigation is required to unearth the entire conspiracy. (ANI)