Mumbai: CBI fails to file chargesheet on time; Customs officer in bribery case gets bail

After his aide got bail recently, a customs officer was on Tuesday granted bail by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court as the agency did not file the chargesheet against the duo in the case within the mandated 60 days of their arrest, thus making them eligible for default bail.

The appraisal officer Jagmohan Sagar, attached with the Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House had been arrested on April 10, this year for demanding and accepting bribes in exchange for clearing consignments of importers. He would collect these through his aide Mahadev Kumkar, who got bail on June 18.

In a surprise check, Rs. 50,000 was found in the officer’s vehicle, which he had allegedly accepted as graft money. Between September 2020 and April 2021, the agency claimed, he had collected Rs. 44 lakh from importers through Kumkar. The money he would keep in Kumkar’s house for safe custody.

The court while granting the officer bail said it is important to mention that as the investigation officer could not complete the investigation within the stipulated period, a co-accused is enlarged on bail on June 18. It also noted that since the investigating officer has submitted that it is only for want of sanction from the concerned department that the chargesheet could not be filed, that, the investigation must be at the fag end and statements of witnesses must already be recorded.

The prosecution, while opposing the officer’s bail, had provided to the court for its perusal, statements of two persons, to show that on behalf of the applicant some unknown persons had attempted to pressurize the persons not to give statements against him in the case. It had urged that at least till the filing of the chargesheet he may not be released on bail.

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