Yadav Singh, the tainted chief engineer of Noida with five cases of corruption and money laundering against him, is out on bail as the CBI has failed in proving the agency had no court where it could submit its chargesheet against the suspended engineer.
The Allahabad High Court has trashed the agency's contention that it could not file its chargesheet against Singh within 60 days since the CBI court was locked due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is not the case of the CBI that during lock down period, no offence had taken place in the country nor any arrest or remand has been made. Therefore, the CBI is not justified in citing the closure of the courts," the High Court held in its order on July 8. Singh came out the next day.
The court further noted that there was nothing on record to suggest that CBI made any effort was for filing the chargesheet during the lockdown.
"Even assuming that the CBI court was closed, magistrates of some other courts were functioning and the district judge and special judge CBI were available in town to meet such exigency, but there was no effort on the part of the CBI to file chargesheet," maintained the court.
The bail order highlighted that the CBI had not even argued that it had completed its corruption probe against Singh within the stipulated time period of 60 days and then the agency could not submit the chargesheet.
"There is no pleading or documents on record to suggest that any effort was ever made by the CBI to file charge-sheet within 60 days, as provided under Section 167 (2) of Cr PC," said the order while giving bail to Singh.
Singh was dramatically arrested on February 10 from outside the Ghaziabad court in Uttar Pradesh when he had come to attend a hearing in connection with another case.
A new case was slapped against him by the CBI under several charges of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
With this, Singh stood booked under five cases — three by the CBI and two by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
But one after the other, Singh got bail in these cases, making the CBI book him yet again on February 10.
However, it is clear that the alacrity shown by the CBI in booking Singh in a fresh case did no it continue till concluding the investigation against him.
And the Allahabad High Court was emphatic that when the agency did not conclude the probe in time, it was not fit the CBI to claim the court was shut.