The Delhi High Court Wednesday granted bail to AAP legislator Prakash Jarwal in connection with a case of alleged suicide of a doctor in south Delhi, saying he was not required for further investigation and trial will take substantial time.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait granted the relief to the MLA on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the like amount.
The court directed Mr Jarwal not to contact or influence the prosecution witnesses in any manner.
"Keeping in view the above discussion and the fact that the petitioner (Jarwal) is in judicial custody since May 9, however, petitioner is no more required for further investigation and trial will take substantial time, I am of the view that petitioner deserves bail, without commenting on the merits of the prosecution case," the judge said.
Rajendra Singh, 52, allegedly found dead in Durga Vihar in south Delhi on April 18. In his suicide note, the doctor held Jarwal responsible for his death.
Like Mr Jarwal, Mr Singh was also involved in the business of water supply with the Delhi Jal Board since 2007, and the police alleged that the MLA and his associates were extorting money from other water-tanker owners, including the doctor.
Mr Jarwal, who represents the Deoli assembly constituency, was arrested on May 9, after a case of extortion and abetment to suicide was filed against him and others based on a police complaint by the doctor''s son -- Hemant.
The high court, in its 16-page bail order, said the fact remains that the man was found dead on April 18, but immediate prior to that date, there were no allegations against Mr Jarwal in the 'suicide note'' and 'diary'' recovered by the police.
"Thus, it seems, there is no proximity and link in alleged commission of offence. Moreover, regarding allegations of extortion of money for Delhi Assembly Election held in February, 2020 from all tanker owners were not complained by family members of the doctor or any other tanker owner, however, made only in 'dairy'' and 'suicide note'', some of which are without signature and in different handwriting. Thus, above said facts to be tested during the trial," it said.
Regarding the allegations of threat and influencing the witnesses, the court said the police has already taken cognisance of that and if in future any incident of this nature happens, the police is at liberty to take action against such person as per the law.
The court noted that the MLA''s brother Anil Jarwal whose name was also mentioned in suicide note has already been granted anticipatory bail by a trial court.
Three-time MLA Jarwal, represented through senior advocate Rebecca John and lawyer Ravi Drall, had said the alleged suicide note was fabricated and it was in two different handwritings with different pens.
The bail plea said the doctor's wife has given a complaint to the Delhi Jal Board on April 9, a week before the suicide, but there was no allegations of extortion and his name was not mentioned anywhere.
Mr Jarwal had challenged a trial court's May 28 order by which his bail plea was dismissed on the ground that the investigation was at a crucial stage.
Mr Jarwal's close aide Kapil Nagar is co-accused in the case and he was granted interim bail by a trial court on June 22.
The FIR alleged that Mr Singh had been threatened and intimidated by Mr Jarwal and others.
During the investigation it was found that there was a big nexus between water-tanker owners and the accused person, the police said.
The investigation showed the money extorted from water-tanker owners was routed through the MLA's brother Anil Jarwal and invested in several properties and farm-houses in Delhi, Gurugram (Haryana) and Jaipur (Rajasthan), the police said.
It also claimed that Jarwal had got allotted many water borewells in his constituency by influencing the Jal Board and one water borewell was illegally given after taking Rs 10 lakh as "gratification money".
The police said complaints against the accused were filed to various authorities but action was never taken.
It said they have found a WhatsApp group in the name of tanker-owners whose administrator is co-accused Nagar and Jarwal was one of its members.
The chat details clearly showed the direct involvement of both the accused in running the tanker mafia in Sangam Vihar and Tigri, it said.