A sessions court here rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a man, who has been accused in a money-laundering case in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday.
"The court of principal district and sessions judge, Srinagar, which is also a designated court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), rejected the bail plea of Mir Manzoor Gazanffer," an official spokesperson said.
Rejecting the plea, judge Abdul Rashid Malik observed that extra care and caution had to be taken while dealing with an application for grant of pre-arrest bail.
"The demand for an individual's liberty has to be matched with the larger interest of the public. In the instant case, there are allegations of clandestine siphoning of a big amount of money. Such an offence is against the whole nation. The investigators have to be given full freedom for investigation," he said.
The court said since the allegations against the petitioner were very grave and serious, grant of anticipatory bail to him will certainly hamper a proper investigation.
"The need for providing medical care and attention to the petitioner will be taken care of by the department and even by the jail authorities in the event of his arrest," the judge said.
Economic offences needed to be dealt with a different approach in the matter of bail, he added.
The court said economic offences involving deep-rooted conspiracies and allegations of causing a huge loss of public funds needed to be viewed seriously and considered as grave offences affecting the country's economy as a whole.
"While granting bail, the court has to keep in mind the nature of accusations, the nature of evidence in support thereof, the severity of the punishment which conviction will entail, the character of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar to the accused, reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the trial, reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with, the larger interests of the public, state and other similar considerations," the judge said.
He added that grant of anticipatory bail at the stage of investigation might frustrate the investigating agency in interrogating the accused and collecting useful information and materials that might have been concealed.
"Having regard to the materials said to have been collected by the non-applicant Enforcement Directorate and considering the stage of the investigation, I am of the view that it is not a fit case to grant anticipatory bail," the judge said.
The court observed that having regard to the nature of allegations and the stage of the investigation, the investigating agency had to be given sufficient freedom and grant of anticipatory bail to the applicant will hamper the probe.
"On a careful perusal of the record, including the averments made in the application, the documents attached with the application and the nature of allegations levelled against the petitioner, the applicant does not deserve the concession of bail in anticipation of his arrest as the allegations against the applicant are very grave and serious," the judge said.
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