In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court of India upheld the denial of anticipatory bail to Aditya Kumar, a former Superintendent of Police, in connection with an alleged conspiracy involving the impersonation of the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court. This scandalous affair purportedly aimed at influencing a corruption probe against Kumar. The decision was made by a bench comprising Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah, and Justice Augustine George Masih, who underscored the serious nature of the offenses involved, consequently denying bail to Kumar.
The allegations against Kumar center around an intricate conspiracy wherein he allegedly colluded with associates to thwart disciplinary proceedings initiated against him. The crux of the accusation revolves around the creation of a WhatsApp account, reportedly established with Kumar’s knowledge and featuring a picture of the then-Chief Justice of the Patna High Court, now a judge of the Supreme Court. This falsified identity was allegedly used to communicate via calls and messages with the Director General of Police, Bihar, in an attempt to secure favorable decisions.
Previously denied pre-arrest bail by the Patna High Court, Kumar faces an array of charges under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 353, 387, 419, 420, 467, 468, and 120B, along with Sections 66C and 66D of the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold this denial of bail reflects the gravity of the charges against Kumar and the imperative need for a stringent legal examination in such cases.
Beyond refusing bail, the Supreme Court issued specific directives. It ordered the Registrar General of the Patna High Court to furnish details of actions taken, sealed and confidential, in relation to the matter. Additionally, the investigating agency was directed to submit the comple’e, up-to-date Case Diary, maintaining confidentiality, reflecting the Court’s firm commitment to unraveling the truth and upholding the integrity of judicial proceedings.
Siddhartha Dave, a Senior Advocate representing Kumar, contended that his client had cooperated with the investigating agency and highlighted the imminent submission of a Charge Sheet, while emphasizing the purported lack of direct evidence against Kumar. However, despite these arguments, the Court persisted in its decision, citing the seriousness of the alleged offenses and purported non-cooperation as key reasons for denying anticipatory bail to Kumar.
The Court drew upon legal precedents to support its stance. It referenced previous judgments, emphasizing that the absence of custodial interrogation does not automatically warrant anticipatory bail. It reiterated that the granting of anticipatory bail is subject to judicial discretion, balancing the severity of the alleged offenses with the necessity for legal recourse.
The Patna High Court’s earlier denial of pre-arrest bail for Kumar highlighted the profound impact of corruption, especially when involving individuals entrusted with upholding the law. The case titled “ADITYA KUMAR V. STATE OF BIHAR, Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.4496/2023,” as documented in the citation 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 1013, signifies a stringent judicial stance against corruption and attempts to manipulate the legal system.
This decision by the Supreme Court underscores its unwavering commitment to upholding the integrity of the judiciary and sustaining public faith in the legal apparatus. It emphasizes the crucial necessity of combating corruption, particularly when perpetrated by individuals holding positions of responsibility within law enforcement agencies. The ruling reflects the Court’s resolute determination to ensure accountability and maintain the sanctity of judicial proceedings, thereby safeguarding the principles upon which the justice system is founded.