RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh high court on Thursday granted bail to suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer GP Singh who was arrested in connection with a disproportionate assets case.
On January 10, Chhattisgarh Economic Offense Wing (EOW) arrested Singh and later he was sent to judicial custody. Notably, Singh had sought relief before his arrest from the Chhattisgarh high court on November 26, 2021, but the court refused to grant interim relief.
“The court granted bail to Singh on furnishing a personal bond of ₹50,000. We argued that the state government had not taken any prior approval from the ministry of home affairs or the state’s home department before initiating a probe against an IPS officer, which was mandatory as per the sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. We have retrieved the documents through the Right to Information Act, and submitted before the court which suggested that no prior approval was taken from MHA and Chhattisgarh’s home department, which was the main ground on which the bail was granted,” said Singh’s lawyer, Ashutosh Pandey.
Additional advocate general Amrito Das, who argued the case on behalf of the state government, also maintained that the bail has been granted since the MHA’s approval for initiating a probe against Singh is still pending.
It is worth mentioning that several searches were conducted at around 15 locations linked to Singh between July 1 and 3 last year. Investigators have claimed to have discovered documents related to movable and immovable assets worth over ₹10 crore during the raids.
An Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) statement on July 3 said the documents seized during searches at Singh’s premises suggested that he had allegedly amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income and indulged in a “massive exchange of money”.
“Singh also allegedly tried to commit money laundering by investing in shell companies,” the statement said.
Singh was also booked for sedition on the basis of the same seized documents but the Supreme Court on August 26, 2021 granted protection from arrest. A bench headed by chief justice N.V. Ramana had directed the state police not to arrest its own IPS officer Gurjinder Pal Singh in sedition cases.
Singh, a 1994-batch IPS officer, served as additional director general of ACB and EOW before he was transferred to the state police academy in June last year.