The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has observed that successful prosecution of a criminal case is based on the quality of police investigation and not on length of continuing custody of a suspect.

"…a successful prosecution of a criminal case in a court of law is based upon quality of police investigation with respect to the facts and circumstances of the case attending the commission of offences and not by length of continuing custody of a suspect or an accused during the course of investigation.", the bench of Justice Rahul Bharti observed.

The Court was hearing the bail application of the accused who was arrested after being allegedly caught in the course of an alleged trap laid by the trap team of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, while accepting bribe amounting to Rs. 50,000.

Sunil Sethi, Senior Advocate appeared for the petitioner-accused whereas Monika Kohli, Senior AAG appeared for the State.

The Court noted that the custody of an accused before the trial of the case is not meant to be of and for punitive purpose but only for the purpose of serving the investigation of the case, which in the present case is over.

The Court observed that there was no justification for further custody of the petitioner.

The Court also noted that the petitioner is a public servant and, as such, there is no question of his escaping from the reach of law or tempering with the evidence in the case.

The Court noted that the petitioner-accused had approached the High Court after his bail application before the Court of Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Jammu came to be rejected.

"From reading of the said order, the Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Jammu seems to have been weighed down by the fact that by reference to FIR no. 02/2022 which has been registered only for the incident of demand of bribe from the complainant by the petitioner, the Investigation Officer is stretching the investigation to case of alleged disproportionate assets against the petitioner.", the Court observed.

The Court granted bail to the accused while directing him to make himself available for the investigation purpose as and when required, by the Investigating Officer.

Cause Title- Rohit Sharma v. UT of J&K

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