Punjab & Haryana High Court Rejects Patwari’s Second Bail Plea Over Corruption Allegations

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Published on: November 28, 2023 at 08:55 IST

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has denied the second pre-arrest bail plea of a Patwari accused of soliciting a bribe to facilitate a mutation process, emphasizing the detrimental impact of corruption within government offices on the foundation of democracy.

Justice Harpreet Singh Brar likened corruption at the grassroots level within government institutions to termites silently eroding the pillars of democracy. He stressed that this corruption corrodes citizens’ trust in institutions meant to serve them, underscoring the necessity to uproot corruption for the preservation of justice.

The Court highlighted its responsibility not only to penalize the corrupt but also to instill a sense of deterrence against corruption, ensuring that the shadows of corrupt practices do not obscure governance.

The case involved Rashpal Singh, a Halqa Patwari accused under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, amended by the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018, at Amritsar Police Station.

Singh allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs. 10,000 from an individual seeking mutation of land following his mother’s demise. The complainant recorded conversations detailing the bribe demands and attempted negotiations.

Addressing the second pre-arrest application, the Court found no new elements or circumstances to warrant reconsideration, citing a Calcutta High Court precedent that dismissed the need for a second anticipatory bail application when the accusation remains unchanged.

The Court deemed the second application for the same relief under Section 438 Cr. P.C. as inadmissible without changes in the factual context.

Regarding the case’s substance, the Court noted recorded conversations between the complainant and the petitioner, highlighting the troubling circumstances presented in the case.

Consequently, the Court concluded that the bail plea lacked merit and substance, leading to its dismissal.

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