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ASSAULT CASE: Outgoing Minister denied bail

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JAMMU: Principal Sessions Judge Kathua Vinod Chatterji Koul on Saturday rejected the pre-arrest bail application of the outgoing Minister of State for Cooperatives Manohar Lal in an assault case.
According to the police, on 20th December, the day of polling, Kuljit Singh, DySP (DAR) in injured condition while being accompanied by Ct. Mast Ram No. 384/K made a verbal report with Police Station, Billawar, that he along with SGCt. Mast Ram, No. 384/K, Ct. Manoj Kumar No. 607/K, Surinder Kumar No. 431/K, Rahul Verma No. 726/SPO, Naresh Kumar Sharma, Inspector/SHO, Police Station, Billawar, Rakesh Kumar No. 1068/SPO and Des Raj No. 189/SPO were on patrol in connection with the Assembly Elections of 2014 and while they were on patrolling at Mandli at about 1.05 O’clock, he received information from reliable source that 60-70 workers of Congress party were campaigning at Kohag, which was objected by the workers of other parties.
On this information, he went to the spot along with his party. Members of other parties present were asked to leave the spot and they left, but workers of the Congress Party remained adamant and in the meanwhile, Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, son of late Jagat Ram, resident of Village Drung, Tehsil Billawar District Kathua and former Minister of State Cooperatives along with Ajit Kumar, son of Munshi Ram, Sarpanch, Romy son of Taj Din resident of Dungara and large number of Congress Party workers reached there in the vehicles and with intention to kill, attacked him with sticks on his head resulting into injuries on his head as well as on his arms. At the instigation of Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, Congress candidate, workers attacked the police party with stones and Ct. Mast Ram No. 384/K also received injuries. On the instigation of the candidate Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma, the workers of Congress violated the Model Code of Conduct and on the report FIR No. 187/2014 for offences punishable under Sections 307/353/336/323/147/148 RPC was registered with Billawar police. Statements of witnesses have been recorded under Section 164-A CrPC, who have supported the version of the complainant/injured. As per the police report, offences mentioned above, have been established against the accused Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma (petitioner) and eleven others, whose names have been given in the report, are absconding and are required by the police for investigation. The police have obtained the medical report. Accused are absconding and recovery of weapons of offences is yet to be effected and from the accused Manohar Lal Sharma, lathi used for the attack is to be recovered. According to report, accused are required by the police for investigation.
After hearing senior Advocate M.K Bhardwaj with Advocate Sushil Gupta appearing for the petitioner and Public Prosecutor BB Gupta for the State, the Judge observed that there is nothing on record to show that the accusations against the accused/petitioner stem out from any ulterior motive to humiliate or harass him, but allegations, prima facie, show that offence alleged has been committed by the petitioner/accused. The nature of accusations is serious and in case, the petitioner is admitted to bail in anticipation of arrest, a wrong signal will be projected to the society and will encourage the people who are responsible for protection of law to break it. “The offences are serious in nature and considering the police report and the evidence collected so far, one cannot say that the allegations are false or petitioner has been falsely implicated in the case”, the Judge observed. As per police report, petitioner after commission of the offences has absconded and could not be found. The weapon used in the commission of offence has not been recovered so far. With these observations Court found that discretion as provided under Section 497-A CrPC can be exercised in this case. No case has been made out by the petitioner for grant of bail in anticipation of his arrest. As such, the application is rejected. JNF

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