The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a plea by Chhattisgarh government against bail granted to suspended Additional Director General of Police Gurjinder Pal Singh in a case related to alleged possession of disproportionate assets under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The state government moving the top court against the High Court order is "nothing but a totally unwarranted exercise on behalf of state", a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Hima Kohli said.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Chhattisgarh government, contended that Singh inside the prison bribed the guard for a favour. He also accused the officer of indulging in tampering of evidence, contending Singh was a high-ranking officer in the police.
The counsel asked the court to cancel Singh’s bail.
“As an ordinary citizen is entitled to his rights under the Constitution, equally a high-ranking officer can't be denied bail," the bench said, dismissing the plea.
The bench further pointed out in the disproportionate assets case, chances of tampering are bleak as most of the evidence is in documentary form.
The bench also noted that the High Court had already imposed stringent conditions while granting bail to Singh on May 12.
In its plea, the Chhattisgarh government claimed if Singh is released, he might influence witnesses. It also alleged that Singh, in the past, had intimidated witnesses because of which the state had to provide police protection to such witnesses.
In January, the Chhattisgarh Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested Singh, who is under suspension, and charged him with corruption, sedition, and promoting enmity.
The top court had earlier rejected a plea by Singh against the High Court's order, denying him protection from arrest.