Iangrai’s bail plea rejected

SHILLONG, Dec 7: The High Court of Meghalaya on Wednesday rejected the bail application of suspended Meghalaya Police officer GK Iangrai.
Iangrai’s sister had used Section 439 of the CrPC to apply for his bail in connection with the CID case No 1 (10) 2022 under Section 13(1) (a) (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act read with Section 120 (B)/409/420/468/471/477 of the IPC.
Iangrai was arrested on November 2 on the basis of an FIR lodged by one Darwin Sangma on October 28 before the CID for allegedly misappropriating funds sanctioned for the construction of the Nationwide Emergency Response System (NERS) building in Shillong.
The accused, Iangrai was remanded in police custody for seven days on November 5 and has been in judicial custody since November 12. He approached the high court through his sister after the special judge (PC Act), Shillong rejected a bail application.
P Yobin, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the properties of the accused were raided and documents, electronic devices and other assets seized in the course of the investigation. He also argued there was no point in keeping the accused in judicial custody as he has already been examined.
The investigating officer did not take any statement from him as he has been in judicial custody, he added and insisted that Iangrai, a patient of hypertension and other ailments, deserved bail owing to health-related issues.
Producing the case diary, Additional Advocate-General ND Chullai said other witnesses junior to Iangrai are yet to be examined and there are chances he might try to influence them if granted bail. He added that six persons have been examined.
Justice HS Thangkhiew examined the case diary and the report on the progress of the investigation.
“It is worthwhile to note that the report notes that the documents seized are yet to be analysed, as the same are voluminous, running into thousands of pages, and that on scrutiny of some of the documents it has been found that official documents which were not supposed to be in the personal custody of the accused person, were seized from his possession,” he said in the order.
It was noted in the report that many documents are missing from the NERS file. It further stated that the accused possessed a number of bank accounts and properties disproportionate to his known sources of income.
“It is also mentioned in the report that several witnesses are yet to be examined and that during the course of the investigation, there is every likelihood that the documents relevant to the case may be retrieved from other witnesses, which may lead to the arrest of the accomplices involved in the case,” the order said.
The court also observed that though these aspects deserve consideration, the fact that the accused is a high-ranking police officer with considerable influence cannot be ignored.
“Though there is no quarrel that bail is the rule and that a person should not be kept in custody, as a punitive measure, in the considered view of the court, taking into account the peculiarity of the case and the possibility of the accused using his influence to hamper the investigation, which is still under active progress, notwithstanding the health condition of the accused, this bail application stands rejected at this stage,” the court said.

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