The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday mentioned in the Supreme Court the plea challenging Gujarat High Court’s anticipatory bail granted to Ahemdabad Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Santosh Karnani who is an accused in the corruption case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who agreed to list the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta apprised the bench that there is tutoring of witnesses and even CBI officials are being approached.
CBI has challenged the Gujarat High Court order dated December 19, 2022. CBI, in its plea, said that Gujarat High Court erroneously exercised its discretionary jurisdiction in a serious offence of corruption, wherein a senior income tax officer i.e. the respondent who was working as Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Ahmedabad was caught in a “trap case”
“The electronic evidence gathered by the petitioner clearly implicated the petitioner and established the demand and acceptance of bribe/undue advantage,” CBI said.
CBI said that High Court has granted anticipatory bail to the accused respondent, while completely ignoring the gravity and seriousness of the offence [Corruption/Bribe – Trap Case], the position which the accused held i.e. Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Ahmedabad.
The CBI also mentioned that the High Court also ignored the conduct of the accused who has been absconding despite the service of five notices U/s 41A, pursuant to which Non Bailable warrant [NBW] dated 22.11.2022 was issued by the Special Court for CBI Cases Ahmedabad.
The FIR was registered before the State ACB Ahmedabad by a complainant on October 4 2022 and acting on the FIR, local police had laid the trap on the same day and recovered the bribe amount of Rs. 30,00,000 on the very same day. After that, in pursuance of the Govt. Notification, the investigation of the case was handed over to petitioner CBI which re-registered the same FIR on October 12, 2022.
“It is respectfully submitted that while granting bail to the accused the High Court failed to consider the well-settled position of law that once an accused makes himself unavailable for the purpose of joining the investigation and NBWs are issued against him, then such an accused is not entitled to any discretionary relief contemplated under 438 of CrPC,” CBI said in the plea.
“Thus in the respectful submission of the petitioner, only by the application of the law laid down by this court the anticipatory bail granted to the accused respondent ought to be cancelled,” CBI said.
“It is respectfully submitted that in such a serious offence the High Court granted anticipatory bail to the respondent accused without going into the facts, circumstances and evidence collected against the respondent accused which duly justified the petitioner’s requirement for custodial interrogation of the respondent to establish the circumstantial chain of evidence, recovery of the mobile phones which used to place demand and voluntarily acceptance of undue advantage of Rs 30,00,000 from the complainant on October 3-4 2022 respectively,” the CBI said. (ANI)