Supreme Court: In a corruption case involving misappropriation of more than Rs 30.00 crores, the Division Bench comprising of Indira Banerjee and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ., granted bail to Alok Kumar Agrawal, former In-charge Executive Engineer of Chhattisgarh’s Water Resources Division, who was booked under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
The allegation against the applicant was that while he was posted as In-charge Executive Engineer, Water Resources Division – Bilaspur, a public servant, in conspiracy with other accused, prepared forged documents and records and thereby misused and abused his official position and not only caused financial loss to the Government but also amassed huge wealth to the extent of more than Rs. 30.00 crores by corrupt and illegal means which was alleged to be disproportionate to his known sources of income.[i]
Initially, an FIR was registered by the Economic Offences Wing –Anti Corruption Bureau against the applicant for alleged commission of offence punishable under Sections 13(1)(e) and 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Sections 109, 120-B, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Penal Code, 1860 and the EOW-ACB charge-sheeted the applicant on 15-06-2015. Since these offences were scheduled offences, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) registered a case under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 against the applicant. The applicant had been in custody since 11-10-2018.[ii]
Considering the arguments of the applicant and the stand taken by the Enforcement Directorate, the Bench granted bail to the applicant on the following grounds:
- His disability;
- The fact that he has been released on bail in connection with the FIR for the scheduled offences on 23.08.2019; and
- That he is under detention in connection with the complaint under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act from October, 2018. In other words, the petitioner had undergone more than 2½ years of imprisonment even in connection with the complaint under the PMLA.
[Alok Kumar Agrawal v. Directorate of Enforcement, Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s). 544-545 of 2021, decided on 12-07-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For Petitioner(s): Siddharth Mittal, Adv., Prabhat Kumar, Adv. and Manju Jetley, AOR
For Respondent(s): Tushar Mehta, SGI, Zoheb Hussain, Adv., Sairica Raju, Adv., Kanu Aggarwal, Adv. and Mukesh Kumar Maroria, AOR
[ii] Alok Kumar Agrawal v. Directorate of Enforcement, MCRC No. 6533 of 2019