A local court granted bail in absentia to National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah in cricket scam case. However, it directed him to appear in person for furnishing personal bail bonds before the court.
The court said that application seeking exemption from his personal appearance during the trial “will be taken up for consideration thereafter.”
After hearing advocate Kapil Varma appearing on behalf of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and defence counsel advocate Ishtiyaq Khan on the composite application filed by the latter seeking bail and exemption from personal appearance of Dr Farooq Abdullah, the court of chief judicial magistrate Srinagar said that admittedly during the course of investigation, the CBI has not taken any recourse for arresting the accused person (Dr Farooq) which reveals that he is not required by the investigating agency.
On 19 July 2018, the composite application was moved by advocate Ishtiyaq Khan who represents Dr Farooq Abdullah in the case.
The court today while deciding the application said that chargesheet has been presented before the court for adjudication which in itself clarifies that the investigation is complete and none of the accused is required for any custodial interrogation, nor the investigating agencies have laid down any motion for issuance of any process.
“Therefore, the accused be produced by learned counsel (defence counsel) for the applicant for admitting the accused to bail and thereafter the application for exemption will be taken up for consideration,” the court said. It added that the accused has to appear in person for furnishing personal bond before the court on 29 July 2018 up to the tune of Rs 50,000.
Earlier, advocate Ishtiyaq Khan while referring to various provisions of law and Supreme Court judgments submitted that his client (Dr Farooq) undertakes to furnish sufficient surety as may be ordered while extending the concession of bail as such the his client be exempted from personal appearance until his return to Srinagar and be admitted to bail in the interests of justice.
He also submitted a copy of Supreme Court judgment in support of his arguments, and pleaded: “Person not arrested during investigation by the investigating agency against whom chargesheet has been presented before the competent court of jurisdiction is entitled to seek bail in terms of section 497 CrPc.”
On July 17, the CBI filed a charge sheet against four persons, including Dr Farooq Abdullah in the multi-crore J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) scam. The charge sheet was filed by CBI before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar.
Apart from Farooq, others whose names have been mentioned in the chargesheet are Saleem Khan, the then general secretary, Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, the then treasurer and Bashir Ahmad Misgar, an executive in J&K Bank.
All the accused have been charged with the offences 420 RPC (cheating and dishonestly), 409 RPC (criminal breach of trust) and 120B RPC (criminal conspiracy).
The multi-crore scam in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) surfaced in 2012 and the CBI took over the investigation of the case from the state police in 2015 under orders of the High Court.