Antagarh by-poll 'fixing'scandal': Court rejects anticipatory bail plea of ex-BJP minister Rajesh Munat

After listening to the arguments from both the parties for over an hour, the court of additional district and session judge Vivek Kumar Verma rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Munat.

Published: 18th February 2019 09:32 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2019 09:44 PM   |  A+A-

Chhattisgarh minister Rajesh Munat (Photo | Twitter/Rajesh Munat)

Express News Service

A Raipur court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail application of former BJP minister Rajesh Munat citing ‘there is no extraordinary jurisdiction exist or needed to be exercised looking at the overall circumstances in the given case’.

After listening to the arguments from both the parties for over an hour, the court of additional district and session judge Vivek Kumar Verma rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Munat.

“In the given case the investigation remains in the preliminary stage where the collection of evidences is in
process”, the court pointed out.

The state additional advocate general Satish Chandra Verma opposed the plea on giving any relief arguing that the former minister was the mastermind who had given a sum of Rs 4 crore as first instalment to the then Congress candidate Manturam Pawar, to withdraw his name from the by-poll.

“That evidences are already there in the conversations which were recovered. There is also proof that on behalf of former chief minister Ajit Jogi the funds were to be arranged by ex-CM Raman Singh and Rajesh Munat”, Verma asserted.

On behalf of Munat the former deputy advocate general Ramakant Mishra claimed that
the issue is of 2014 and there is delay in lodging of an FIR so no case can be framed against him as he also cited lack of evidence in the FIR.

However looking at the overall circumstances the court found serious allegations exist against Munat besides the availability of materials and evidences. “So the court observed that there doesn’t
arise any situation of extraordinary jurisdiction (under section 438 of CrPC) that needs to be exercised”, Verma, who opposed the plea, told this newspaper.

Chhattisgarh police early this month registered an FIR against the former chief
minister Ajit Jogi, his son Amit, Rajesh Munat and Punit Gupta who is son-in-law of Raman Singh in connection with the 2014 Antagarh assembly by-poll.

There were allegations that the BJP had “fixed” the polls in collusions with the Jogis. The Congress candidate Manturam Pawar had abruptly withdrawn his name from the by-election and then the BJP
won the polls.

The FIR was registered in Raipur’s Pandri’s police station on the basis of the complaint filed by the Congress leader and former Raipur Mayor Kiranmayee Nayak. It was registered under Section 171 (e)
for bribery, 171 undue influence, 406 criminal breach of trust and 420 cheating and 120 criminal conspiracy.


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