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Paul gets bail as officer misses deadline
Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, April 20 - The Court of Special Judge, Assam, today allowed the prime accused in the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), Rakesh Paul, to go on bail in connection with a Dispur police station case which relates to accepting bribe from one Arup Kumar Nath.

The bail was granted ‘by default’ as per the provisions of Section 167 of CrPC, as Assistant Commissioner of Police Sujit Kumar Saikia, who is the investigating officer of the case, failed to submit the chargesheet within the statutory 90 days time.

Meanwhile, Dispur has taken a strong exception to the investigation officer’s failure in filing the chargesheet within the stipulated period, which, it said, is “very serious” in nature.

Paul was shown to be arrested in the case on January 20, after the case was registered under Section 420, 406 of the IPC read with other Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The complainant in his FIR alleged that Paul had accepted a bribe of Rs 3 lakh from him promising job, following which Paul was shown to be arrested as he was already in custody.

This is the first time that any of the accused in the cash-for-job scam has been granted bail in the cases registered against them.

Even Paul’s Special Leave Petitions in connection with the cases registered with the Dibrugarh police station are still pending with the Supreme Court. The Gauhati High Court had denied him and other co-accused bail, both before and after the filing of the chargesheet in the case registered with the Dibrugarh police station.

Paul was allowed the privilege of bail today against a bail amount of Rs 5 lakh with a surety of the like amount.

The Court in its order today stated that as the investigating officer was not in a position to submit the chargesheet in the case within the stipulated period, the accused (shown arrested on January 20), is granted the default bail.

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