At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M. NIRMAL KUMAR
For the Petitioners: U. Yuvaraj, V. Ramamurthy, Advocates. For the Respondents: C. Iyyappa Raj, Addl. Public Prosecutor.
(Common Prayer: Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 439 Cr.P.C, to enlarge the petitioner on bail in OCU I Crime No.2 of 2020 pending investigation on the file of the respondent police.)
1. The petitioners in Crl.O.P.Nos.7822 and 8400 of 2020 were arrested and remanded to judicial custody on 26.01.2020 for the offence punishable under Sections 465, 468, 471, 120B @ 409 of IPC in Crime No.2 of 2020 on the file of the respondent police, seek bail.
2. The petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.7997 of 2020 was arrested and remanded to judicial custody on 10.02.2020 for the offence punishable under Sections 465, 468, 471 r/w 120B @ 409, 420 of IPC in Crime No.2 of 2020 on the file of the respondent police, seeks bail.
3. The case of the prosecution is that the respondent police has registered a case based on the complaint preferred by the defacto complainant. It is alleged in the FIR that in TNPSC group exams, malpractice was carried out by some accused persons by way of fabrication of documents and forging the signatures of the Government officials. Thereafter, the respondent police conducted investigation following which, the petitioner herein along with the other accused were arrested by the respondent police and remanded to judicial custody. Hence the complaint.
4. The learned counsel for the petitioners in Crl.O.P.Nos.7997 and 7822 submitted that the petitioners were arrested in another case in CBCID Metro Crime No.04 of 2020 on 10.02.2020 and subsequently in the above case they were arrested formally by issuance of PT Warrant 18.03.2020.
5. The learned counsel for the petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.7822 of 2020 submitted that the petitioner is an acting driver and he also works as a freelancer for his regular customers. He further submitted that the petitioner was called up for out station duty and there is no involvement of the petitioner in the offence as alleged by the prosecution and he is a scapegoat in this case.
6. The learned counsel for the petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.7997 of 2020 submitted that the petitioner is a car mechanic and was called up for a break down work by one of the accused who is involved in this Crime for which alone, he went there and that he is no way involved in the offence as alleged by the prosecution and he is a scapegoat in this case.
7. It is the contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioners in Crl.O.P.Nos. 7822 and 7997 of 2019 that Section 409 of IPC will not attract to these petitioners since they are not employees of TNPSC and that they are private acting driver and Mechanic respectively. It is further submitted that the petitioners have been suffering incarceration for more than more than 60 days till today. Hence, seek for grant of bail to the petitioners.
8. The learned counsel for the petitioner in Crl.O.P.No.8400 of 2020 submitted that the petitioner is working as an office assistant and during his service, he has unblemished record. The nature of job of the petitioner is to assist the other officials and that the petitioner had no role in the process of entire examination carried out by the Public Service Commission except in assisting the officials deputed by the Public Service Commission to supervise the exams. The petitioner is neither a Supervisor nor the person responsible for opening the seal and fixing the seal before and after the examination.
9. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that this is the second bail petition and on 12.05.2020, this Court dismissed the bail petition filed by the petitioners in Crl.O.P.No.7236 of 2020. He further submitted that the petitioners were part of the offence of fabricating documents, forging the signatures, tampering the answer sheets and aided the prime accused in commission of the crime. Thereby, they committed a serious offence against the society. He further submitted that the petitioners are aware of the entire movement of the answer sheets, handed over the OMR sheets to the respective candidates, got filed the OMR sheets and restored the same in their respective places and he also submitted that the petitioners are also accused in the scam of Group IV and Group II-A examination conducted by the TNPSC, by fabricating the documents and forging the signatures of Government Officials and tampering the examination sheets and that as on date, there is no change in circumstances to entertain the bail application. Hence, he vehemently opposed for the grant of bail to the petitioners.10. Considering the submission and the materials produced, it is seen that one Jeyakumar is the main accused in this case and that the petitioners were part of the conspiracy. The commission of offence has been going on years together not only in these two exams but also in the other exams conducted by the TNPSC. The credibility of the TNPSC has been damaged and that people started doubting the correctness, integrity and honesty in the way of exams being conducted by the TNPSC. The TNPSC is the gate way for the young graduates and educated persons who seeks employment in Government. Further, the graduates and educated persons approaching the TNPSC seeking employment, to improve their career and to serve the Government. But due to the act of the petitioners, the dreams of the young graduates’ have completely been shattered. By tampering the mark sheets, the rightful candidates have lost their opportunity and uneligible persons were appointed for the concerned post. The offence committed by the petitioners is part of a larger conspricy. Further, the role of the other persons who are involved are being ascertained and the truth has to be unravelled. The investigation is on progress and this is not a yet another case and this type of offence needs thorough investigation a
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nd verification of records. The act of the petitioner cannot be equated with the other accused who have been granted bail. Only a portion of money involved in this case has been traced so far and the major part of the money involved are to investigated. 11. Considering the gravity of the offence and the investigation is at the crucial stage, this Court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, the Criminal Original Petition is dismissed. It is made clear that the dismissal of the above bail petition will not stand against the petitioners’ entitlement and availment of statutory bail under Section 167(2) of Cr.P.C.