The Bombay high court has granted bail to Abhishek Kumar Singh, an accused in 2019 armed bank heist of ₹23 lakh and gold worth ₹8.5 lakh in Karad in Maharashtra, observing that cash recovery from him has not been established by the prosecution to be the part of the currency notes which were stolen from the bank.
Eight persons were arrested in March 2019 for the alleged dacoity.
According to the prosecution, four unknown persons barged into Shenoli Branch of Bank of Maharashtra and at gunpoint, threatened the complainant and the bank employees. All of them were forced to gather in a storeroom which was locked and the accused persons, by threatening the employees with revolver, robbed cash from the cash counter as well as jewellery from the bank locker.
“The cash which came to be robbed was estimated at ₹23,20,000 and the gold jewellery was valued at ₹8,51,675. The First Information Report was registered against the unknown persons,” the court noted in its order.
Singh was identified during an identification parade and was seen on CCTV footage, besides over ₹1 lakh was recovered from him, claimed prosecution.
The court noted that a co-accused was granted bail in September 2020, who was neither identified nor seen in the CCTV footage but was travelling on the same bus as Singh and ₹5 lakh was recovered from that co-accused.
Justice Karnik noted that the cash recovery from Singh has not been established by the prosecution to be the part of the currency notes which were stolen from the bank. It is one of the circumstances based on which the co-accused was released on bail and the same grounds must apply for Singh too, said Justice Karnik.
Singh was behind bars for over four and half years
The court also took into account that Singh has been behind bars for over four and half years with no likelihood of trial concluding any time soon.
HC has directed his release on bail on furnishing a personal bond of ₹50,000. Considering that Singh is from Bihar, the HC has directed him to appear before the investigating officer in Karad once in a fortnight till the conclusion of the trial.