Panchkula: Former SHO on the run; accused head constable granted anticipatory bail

Pallavi Singhal
Former SHO on the run; accused head constable granted anticipatory bail

Inspector Ravi Kant was dismissed from the police services on December 12.

MORE THAN a month after a case was filed against three Panchkula police officials on charges of corruption and molestation, the accused former SHO and Inspector Ravi Kant is yet to be traced and arrested, while the other accused Head Constable Anil Kumar was granted interim anticipatory bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday. The interim anticipatory bail was granted to the accused after the complainant and victim furnished a statement in the court in his favour.

Complainant Pankaj Sharma and the victim appeared in person before the court, along with their advocate, and submitted that “there is no role of the petitioner (Head Constable) in the alleged incident”. Head Constable Anil Kumar accused in the case on the basis of another accused, Home Guard Jashan Lal’s disclosure statement involving Kumar.

Justice Jaishree Thakur, who granted the interim relief to Kumar, asked him to join the investigation within a period of one week, adding that “on his doing so, the petitioner be released on interim bail subject to his furnishing personal bonds and surety to the satisfaction of Arresting/Investigating Officer”. The Court also ordered that the Head Constable will have to join the investigation as and when required.

The prosecution, while opposing the bail plea before trial court, argued that the victim and the complainant had been pressurised by Kumar to not depose against the police officials, while citing his call records, including 87 phone calls between Kumar and Pankaj.

Kumar’s bail application had been declined by the Sessions Court on December 25, while Ravi Kant’s bail application was declined on December 23. Both the accused, while managing to meet lawyers and file bail applications, have remained on the run from the police.

Prime accused Inspector Ravi Kant has been on the run for more than a month now. An anticipatory bail filed by him before the Panchkula Sessions Court was declined by the court of Narendra Sura on December 23, saying that the case involved “a big scam of extorting money on a monthly basis.” Even though, two teams headed by Inspector General of Police Bharti Arora at the state level and an Assistant Commissioner of Police Vijay Deswal at district level were appointed to investigate the matter, no breakthrough has been made in the case yet.

The complainant, Pankaj Sharma, who runs a salon at MDC Sector 5 market, had alleged that the accused used to take money from the woman manager of the salon and pass vulgar comments at her. The accused allegedly also threatened her that he would forcefully shut down their salon, if she did not do as asked. The FIR was initially filed on December 10, on charges of extortion and stalking, but charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act were also added two days later, when an Inspector General level officer, IPS Bharti Arora, was given charge of the investigation.

While the victim had first denied all the allegations against the accused when her statement was recorded under the Section 164 CrPC, in another statement voluntarily recorded by her, she had made serious accusations on the Home Guard, the videos related to which went viral.

Arora could not be reached as her official number remained switched off. However, ACP Deswal told Chandigarh Newsline, “We have been raiding his houses in the past month but there is no update in the case yet. We are unable to find him.” On the number of houses owned by the accused, Vijay said, “He has two houses, one in Kaithal and one in Panchkula. We have posted policemen at both of his houses.”

Inspector Ravi Kant was dismissed from the police services on December 12. The dismissal orders were issued by the office of DGP, Haryana, Manoj Yadav, when the matter came into the light of State Home Minister, Anil Vij.