M.Cr.C. No. 8723/2012
Shri Anil Khare, Sr. Counsel with Ms. Namrata Kesarwani for the applicant.
Shri Chandrakant Mishra, GA for the respondent/State. This is the first bail application filed by the applicant under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. for grant of anticipatory bail. The applicant is apprehending his arrest in connection with Crime No. 252/2012 registered at P.S. Omti, District Jabalpur for the offence punishable under sections 420, 423, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC.
As per prosecution, the facts of the case are that the applicant was the Law Officer at Municipal Corporation, Jabalpur during the year 2000-2008. The disputed property said to have been owned by Maqbool Begum. Since Maqbool Begum had shifted to Pakistan, the property was auctioned under Displaced Persons (Compensation and Rehabilitation) Act, 1964 and same was purchased by Hansraj Malaram. On the death of Hansraj Malaram, an application was filed for mutation of the aforesaid property in the name of Ashok Kumar. At that juncture, an opinion was sought from the applicant because an injunction was already issued by Additional District Judge under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 of the CPC to maintain the status quo of the property. Thereafter, the defendants in the civil suit were restrained to alienate the property. At the same time the dispute of mutation was pending before Superintendent of Land Record, who refused to mutate the name of Ashok Kumar. Being aggrieved thereby, Ashok Kumar filed an appeal before Nazul officer, who passed order (A-5) in favour of Ashok Kumar. On the basis of the aforesaid order, again the Dy. Commissioner of Municipal Corporation sought an opinion from the applicant. The applicant gave his opinion in favour of Ashok Kumar and thereafter name of Ashok Kumar was mutated and lease was executed in favour of Ashok Kumar vide lease deed (A-7). A suit was also pending between Prakash Chandra Agrawal and Ashok Kumar, which was compromised on 24.3.2012 in the Lok Adalat and Prakash Chandra Agrawal withdrew the aforesaid suit, thereafter, the sale deed was executed in favour of Kalyanika Infa Mega Venture Pvt. Ltd. through its Directors, thereafter, the instant case has been registered against the applicant and co-accused persons.
Learned counsel for the applicant has submitted that the applicant has been falsely implicated in this case. He only gave the bonafide legal advice to the Commissioner. He is not involved in any conspiracy. He is a retired employee and a reputed citizen of the locality, in the event of arrest, his reputation will be tarnished, therefore, he be released on anticipatory bail.
Learned counsel for the State has opposed the application and submitted that an amount of Rs. 2,51,000/- has been transferred in the account of the applicant by co-accused Ashok Kumar, which shows the involvement of the applicant in the conspiracy of disposal of the disputed property. Learned Government Advocate has further submitted that despite the repeated query by the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation that the Nazul Officer has no jurisdiction to decide the title of the property, the applicant misled him in connivance with co-accused Ashok Kumar by giving the legal opinion that Nazul Court has the jurisdiction to decide the title, therefore, in the instant case the custodial interrogation of the applicant is necessary and the application is liable to be dismissed.
On due consideration of the contention raised by the learned counsel for the parties and having perused the case diary, no doubt initially on 24.10.2006, the applicant opined that till the disposal of the civil suit pending in the Court of Additional District Judge, mutation cannot be carried out but afterwards he gave another opinion on 16.5.2007 that on the basis of order of Nazul Court, the name of Ashok Kumar can be mutated by lease Branch. It further reveals that the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, again specifically made a query that Nazul Court is not competent to decide the title, however, the applicant fully knowing well that the Nazul Court is not competent to decide the title, gave opinion in favour of co-accused Ashok Kumar and on the basis of said opinion, the lease deed was renewed in favour of Ashok Kumar on 28.3.2008, thereafter, a suit was also withdrawn by Prakash Chandra Agrawal.
An explanation was also filed by the applicant in regard to the sum of Rs. 2,51,000/- that the said amount was deposited in his account because after retirement he gave services to Prakash Chandra Agrawal and Vachan Patra (A-12) was executed between Prakash Chandra Agrawal, the applicant and one Diljeet Mehta in regard to disposal of the property and due to the aforesaid agreement the money which was given by Prakash Chandra Agrawal, was transferred by Ashok Kumar in lieu of services rendered by the applicant to Prakash Chandra Agrawal.
Thus, it is apparent that only on the basis of legal advice of the applicant, the renewal of lease deed was made in favour of Ashok Kumar. The applicant appears to be instrumental in the aforesaid conspiracy of disposal of disputed property and the creation of the document in relation to aforesaid property and for the aforesaid services he got reward of Rs. 2,51,000/- from Ashok Kumar. Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case, in my opinion, it is a case in which the custodial interrogation of the applicant is necessary, thus, I do not find it a fit case to release the applicant on anticipatory bail. Application is hereby dismissed. (G.S.Solanki)