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Ex-armyman granted bail in high profile sex racket case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A today granted bail to retired Colonel Ahlawat, who was arrested in a high profile sex-racket case allegedly involving servants and women from Central Asian countries.

Additional Sessions Judge Kumar Jain granted bail to Ahlawat, who was produced from judicial custody, on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of a like amount, saying "no purpose would be served by keeping him in jail any more."

The judge also asked him not to contact or influence the complainant in any manner.

Ahlawat, who was arrested on November 10, is one of the accused besides businessman PN Sanyal in the human trafficking and impersonation racket which came to fore after Sanyal's residences in Safdarjung Enclave and Vasant Kunj in South were raided by authorities in June 2016.

Seeking bail for Ahlawat, his counsel Pradeep Rana argued that there was no incriminating evidence against his client and he was cooperating with the police.

"Ahlawat had appeared before police initially and thereafter he was exploring legal remedies available to him. When High dismissed his anticipatory bail, he surrendered before the himself," he said.

Opposing the bail plea, Police submitted that Ahlawat had been absconding during the proceedings and did not cooperate with the investigating agency.

The court, however, allowed the bail plea saying no new material against him has come on record which required Ahlawat to remain in jail.

The court also accepted the defence counsel's submission that the complainant, a Russian woman, had told the high court earlier that she was residing with the main accused Sanyal at her free will and did not allege anything against Ahlawat.

The IT officials had rescued the 23-year-old Russian woman from Sanyal's residence in Safdarjung Enclave.

A case was lodged by the police claiming that SMSes and WhatsApp data of the woman's mobile phone indicated that she was being kept against her will. Her travel documents including passport were allegedly taken away by the accused, it had alleged.

The IT raid had also led to recovery of copies of passports of other foreign nationals as well as phone numbers of dozens of women belonging to Central Asian countries.

During investigation, it was found that Sanyal had sent messages to servants and other senior functionaries posing as MPs and top bureaucrats for getting favours in certain business deals, the cops had said.

Messages exchanged between Sanyal and his associates had revealed financial transactions relating to foreign women. He was granted bail by the High Court.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 02 2016. 17:07 IST