GUWAHATI, Nov 14 - The Gauhati High Court today rejected the bail petition of Rakesh Paul – the prime accused in the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) – filed in connection with the Bhangagarh police station case as per which the suspended APSC chairman had allegedly demanded money from a candidate for awarding him job for the post of agriculture development officer in 2014.
Paul was shown arrested in connection with the Bhangagarh police station case number 159/2017 by Guwahati police.
Although the Supreme Court had allowed default bail to Paul on August 16 in connection with the Dibrugarh police station case, its order categorically stated that the accused could be rearrested in connection with any other case, if need be.
The high court after hearing extensive arguments put forward by special public prosecutor Bijon Kumar Mahajan and defence lawyer D Nandi for the last few sittings, today dismissed the bail petition bearing in mind the gravity of the allegations against the accused.
“Bearing in mind the nature of serious accusation against the head of the institution like the APSC, which is required to be properly investigated into by the investigating agency and to protect the interest of the society at large, without forming any opinion on the merit of the case, the Court is of the opinion that the accused petitioner cannot be released on bail at this stage...,” said the order.
The high court also directed the investigating agency to file the supplementary chargesheet preferably within three months.
“However, it is also made clear that for the better interest of the investigation that investigating officer may make prayer before the Court concerned (Special Court, Assam) for further time to submit such supplementary chargesheet for justified reasons and the Court will be at liberty to consider the same accordingly,” Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan stated in the order.
Paul was first arrested on November 11, 2016 in connection with the cash-for-job scam in the Dibrugarh police station case number 936/16 and he has been in judicial custody since then.