Punjab & Haryana HC stays inspector’s arrest in corruption case, asks him to appear before probe officer

Pallavi Singhal
Punjab and Haryana High Court, High Court of Punjab, High Court of Haryana, Haryana Police corrution case, Chandigarh news, city news, Indian Express

Inspector Ravi Kant

THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court Thursday stayed the arrest of Inspector Ravi Kant, who has been evading police for more than a month, in an alleged corruption case registered against him and other police officers in December, till February 3 and directed him to appear before the Investigating Officer on January 27 and handover his official mobile.

Senior Advocate R S Rai and Advocate Aman Pal, representing Kant in the bail plea, earlier submitted before the court that the allegations in the FIR that Home Guard and main accused Jashan Lal had made a call on Kant’s official mobile is a false statement and the same can be verified by pulling out the call record from the mobile company.

It was further submitted before the court that a statement had been recorded by the victim woman under Section 164 of CrPC on December 11, a day after registration of the FIR, that nothing wrong had been done by Jashan Lal with whom she has a family relationship. Kant’s counsels made a request that he may be permitted to handover the mobile phone to the Investigating Officer. “Thereafter, the Investigating Officer will verify the said fact and submit a report to this court on the date fixed,” Justice Jaishree Thakur said in the order. The case has been adjourned for hearing to February 3.

The co-accused, Head Constable Anil Kumar, had been granted interim anticipatory bail on January 15 from the Punjab and Haryana High Court after the complainant and victim had given a statement in his favour.

In a case registered at the MDC police station, Panchkula on December 10, against its SHO, Inspector Ravi Kant and Home Guard Jashan Pal, the complainant, who runs a salon at the 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, while threatening to close down the salon if she did not do as asked.

The victim woman, who had at first given a statement in favour of the accused, had later turned and alleged that the accused did molest her and extort money from her. A video of Jashan Pal had also gone viral where he could be spotted harassing the woman and taking money from her.

The sessions court of Panchkula, on December 23, had dismissed the anticipatory bail plea filed by Kant, saying the evidence on record makes it “clear that it is big scam of extorting money on monthly basis from different persons and for the purpose of qualitative investigation and to unearth the entire extortion scam, custodial interrogation of the petitioner is must,” Additional Sessions Judge Narender Sura’s court order had read. The court had also said that the record makes it clear that there is a conversation of Ravi Kant with Jashan Lal which makes it clear that the “petitioner had indulged in extorting money from different persons”.

The case initially was registered under sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354 D (stalking) and 384 (extortion) of the IPC. Sections 7 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act were added later. There are three accused in in the case, Inspector Ravi Kant, Home Guard Jashan Lal and Head Constable Anil Kumar.