The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) recently dismissed applications for cancellation of the bail (of three accused in the 2017 Unnao Gang rape case) filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Significantly, the applications were moved by the CBI in the year 2018 pursuant to the observation of Division Bench, in which the Court had asked the CBI to consider as to whether cancellation of bail of accused in the case was necessary for carrying out free and fair further investigation.
However, presently the investigation has been concluded in the matter and the charge sheet has also been filed and the trial is progressing in the court of Tees Hazari at Delhi.
The Bench of Justice Alok Mathur noted that there was an absence of any material in support of the application, nor any fact had been mentioned on the basis of which the bail was sought to be canceled by the CBI.
“We have to note with deep regret and anguish that a premier investigating agency has moved present applications merely on the liberty being granted by the Division Bench of this Court to move application for cancellation of bails without adducing any material or cogent reason in support of the same,” the Court further added.
The matter in brief
Three applications for cancellation of the bail were moved by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the year 2018 seeking cancellation of bail of accused-applicants Shubham Singh, Brajesh Yadav and Naresh Tiwari alias Awadhesh Tiwari for the case registered against them under Sections 363, 366, 376 (D) and Section 3/4 of POCSO Act.
They were granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on different dates in the year 2017 and March 2018 and in April 2018, the Court had transferred the investigation of the case to the CBI.
In that order of the year 2018, the Court had asked the CBI to consider whether cancellation of bail of accused in the case was necessary for carrying out free and fair further investigation, and therefore, the instant applications were moved in the year 2018 itself.
Therefore, in its applications, the CBI stated that in pursuance of the direction of Division Bench, it had moved the application for cancellation of bails.
Noting that no material or cogent reasons had been adduced by the CBI in their applications and the fact that the investigation has concluded and there was now no possibility of the accused tampering with the evidence, the Court dismissed CBI’s applications.
Further, the Court noted that it did not appreciate or expect the CBI to file such applications bereft of any cogent material for examination before the Court as it only adds to the burden of the judicial system, and the outcome in present circumstances cannot be of any benefit to the applicant.
“Exercising their liberty to move the present applications, some materials should have been placed to support the ground taken for cancellation of bail that there is likelihood of the applicants interfering with free and fair investigation, but apart from reiterating the order of the Division Bench, there is no averment in the said applications and, therefore, this Court finds the applications to be sheer abuse of the liberty granted by this Court and deprecates this practice of filing such frivolous applications by the investigating agencies,” the Court further held.
Lastly, the Court stressed that the investigating officers and the legal officers should apply their minds before approaching the Court and filter out such frivolous petitions for which they would be held responsible.
Case title – C.B.I Thru Superintendent Of Police A.C.B Lucknow (Major Bc) v. Shubham Singh & Anr along with two connected pleas