Devender Kumar granted bail by Delhi court as CBI stir thickens
A Delhi court Wednesday granted bail to CBI DSP Devender Kumar who was arrested in connection with bribery allegations involving the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana.
Special CBI Judge Santosh Snehi Mann granted the relief to Kumar and asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and a surety of like amount.
The CBI did not oppose his bail petition, saying that all the evidence was documentary and already in the possession of the probe agency, but sought imposition of certain conditions.
The court noted that after the registration of FIR containing allegations against Kumar for harassment by repeatedly calling the complainant, "nothing incriminating has come or surfaced during the investigation against him till date".
It further said: "Even in the FIR, there is no allegation of demand of illegal gratification by the accused (Kumar), neither is any allegation that any money was given to the accused.
"In the facts and circumstances of the case, it is deemed expedient in the interest of justice to grant bail to the accused. The bail application is allowed."
The court directed Kumar not to leave the country without its prior permission, join the probe as and when called by the CBI and not to contact the witnesses or tamper with the evidence.
CBI may approach the court for cancellation of the bail if Kumar violates any of the conditions, it said.
In his bail application, filed by advocate Rahul Tyagi, Kumar had termed his custody "illegal" and urged the court to set him free.
Kumar and Asthana have already challenged the legality of the FIR filed against them.
Kumar on October 30 told the court that a case of "theft and extortion" should be lodged against the CBI since the agency's officials probing against him had seized nine mobile phones and other articles but mentioned only one in the seizure memo, a practice which he termed as "illegal".
Besides Kumar and Asthana, two alleged middlemen -- Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad -- have also been named as accused in the case.
The agency had earlier told the court that Kumar had tried to fabricate evidence during the probe in another case.
Kumar had claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case and that he was a victim of rivalry among the senior officers of the central probe agency.
He had said he was investigating a case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, in which the complainant in the present case -- Sathish Babu Sana -- was a suspect and the names of some past and present senior CBI officers had surfaced.
Kumar had claimed that his arrest in the present case was motivated to stall the investigation in the case against Qureshi and that there was no direct allegation against him.
If convicted, the accused may get a maximum 10-year jail term in the case.
The FIR in the current case was lodged on the basis of a written complaint from Sana on October 15, wherein it was alleged that Kumar, being the IO in the case against Qureshi, was repeatedly calling the complainant to the CBI office to harass him and compel him to pay a bribe of Rs 5 crore for getting a clean chit in the case.
The complaint had also said a part of the bribe was paid by Sana.
(With inputs from agencies.)