Dear Shree, Nice to see you in LCI. Please check up the famous case of Gujurat IPS Officer, which even went up to the Supreme Court. But I am of the View that there is no such special latitude given to Police Officer in matters of bail.
Ahmedabad: The CBI on Friday opposed the bail plea of suspended IPS officer Abhay Chudasama, a key accused in the 2005 Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, in the Gujarat High Court, saying that if let out he could intimidate witnesses and tamper with evidence of the case.
The Central agency further contended in its affidavit filed in the court on Friday that they have evidence to believe that if let out on bail, Chudasama could influence witnesses in the Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter case, which it was investigating on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Justice K M Thaker hearing the case asked Chudasama's lawyers to file reply to the CBI's affidavit by November 24, when the next hearing is scheduled.
In the affidavit, CBI has said that Chudasama played a key role in conspiracy of fake encounter of Sohrabuddin and murder of his wife Kausar Bi. He was involved in the extortion racket run by Sohrabuddin.
It further said that Chudasama had threatened key witnesses in the case Dashrat Patel and his brother Raman Patel, the owners of Popular Builders company.
Chudasama was the one who had offered Rs 50 lakh to Sohrabuddin's brother Rubabuddin Sheikh to withdraw his petition from the Supreme Court.
The CBI while opposing Chudasama's bail also cited the 2006 Tulsiram Prajapati encounter case that it was investigating and claimed that the probe in this case was at very critical stage and Chudasama if set free could influence evidence in the case.
Almost all defendants have a right to bail, unless one or more of a specified number of grounds for withholding bail can be established. [Note: There are three main grounds, which may be summarised as there being substantial grounds for believing that the defendant would, if released on bail: fail to surrender to custody; commit an offence while on bail; or interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice, whether in relation to himself or any other person.]At every hearing, the advocate considers whether there are grounds to oppose bail, or to ask the court to impose conditions on the defendant's bail.
When making this decision we take into account:
a) whether the offence is one of a limited number in which there must be exceptional circumstances before a defendant can be granted bail;
b) the nature and strength of the evidence against the defendant;
c) the seriousness of the offence with which he or she is charged;
d) the defendant's previous convictions, including his or her history of complying with bail;
e) whether the defendant is already on bail for other offences;
f) any history of complaints of a similar nature;
g) any information that the defendant is likely to interfere with witnesses or evidence; and
h) anything else that is known about the defendant, such as the results of a drug test at the police station.
At the hearing, the advocate sets out the specific grounds on which we oppose bail or seek the imposition of conditions and outlines the available information to support each of the grounds, including any concerns expressed by the victim about the defendant being on bail.
Where the prosecution has a right of appeal against the grant of bail (that is where the offence carries a potential sentence of imprisonment), we decide in advance whether the risk to the victim or the public justifies an appeal if the magistrates grant bail. If the magistrates grant bail in a case where we have decided that it would be appropriate to appeal, the advocate immediately gives notice to the court that we intend to appeal, so that the defendant may be kept in custody until the appeal is heard.
Defendants have a right to appeal to a judge against the withholding of bail or the imposition of bail conditions by magistrates. We attend any appeal hearing to oppose the application or suggest appropriate conditions if the judge intends to grant bail or change the existing conditions.
Where a defendant is brought back to court for breaching his or her bail conditions or appearing to a police officer to be likely to breach his or her bail conditions, the advocate makes representations to the magistrates about whether his or her bail should be revoked or the conditions changed.
The advocate makes detailed notes on the case file setting out whether we opposed bail and, if so, the reasons we put forward for opposing bail or seeking conditions, and any submissions made by the defence about them. This helps us to deal with any later suggestion that circumstances have changed that might justify the grant of bail or a relaxation of any bail conditions, and to identify any likely defences to the charge(s).