JAMMU, Feb 28: Day after her arrest by the State Vigilance Organization, Special Judge Anticorruption Jammu Sanjeev Gupta granted interim bail to Prof Hemla Aggarwal, presently Principal Government Degree College Reasi.
After hearing Advocate Monika Kohli appearing for the applicant, the court observed, “as per Sub Section-1 of Section-497 CrPC a person is not to be released when reasonable ground exists for believing that he has committed the offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life”, adding “in rest of the non bailable offences restriction is not applicable”.
“For grant of refusal of the bail, discretion vested with the court is to be exercised on sound judicial principles because law presumes innocence of any accused unless guilt is proved and proviso to Section-497 says that court may direct that any person under the age of sixteen years or any woman or any sick or infirm person accused of even offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life be released on bail”, Special Judge Anticorruption said.
“As the facts would unveil the FIR was registered in the year 2014 against the petitioner and one Jagdish Kumar with regard to the purchase of softwares by the petitioner in the year 2008 when she was posted as Principal in SPMR College of Jammu. The offence was to the effect that softwares /CDs have been purchased in original for an amount of Rs.2,65,200 and entered in stock register of the college, whereas pirated CDs have been loaded in I-Mac system, thereby causing loss to the tune of Rs.2,65,200 to state exchequer”, the court observed.
“Maximum sentence in Section 5 (2) (d) is the period up to five years. In my opinion without commenting on the merits of the case and in the light of proviso to Section 497 CrPC, there is no genuine reason to decline the concession of interim bail to the petitioner who is a lady suffering from medical problem of both knees, besides being on the pay roll of the Government”, Special Judge Anticorruption said, adding “curtailing her liberty will amount to punishment before the trial”.
With these observations, court allowed the application and ordered released of petitioner from the custody provided she furnishes a personal bond in the amount of Rs 25,000 and one surety in the like amount.
“The petitioner shall not contact any witnesses and she would attend to IO as and when required to do so for completion of the investigation”, the court said, adding “breach of any condition will give liberty to the IO for laying a motion for cancellation of bail”.