Published On : Mon, Mar 26th, 2018

Court grants anticipatory bail to BSNL officials in suicide case

Court Gavel

Representational Pic

Nagpur: In a major respect to the top ranking officials of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Nagpur, the District & Sessions judge AV Dixit has today granted anticipatory bail to all the accused.

The matter pertains to the suicide of one Anand Babaria, outside the premises of BSNL Nagpur on 23rd of February 2018 in his car. It was alleged that the deceased was himself a Contactor working for the department and who had done the work of laying optical fiber cables in the National optical fiber network project announced by the Prime Minister. It was also alleged that officials of the BSNL department were not clearing the outstanding bills submitted for the said work. It is interesting to note that the said dispute with the BSNL department had also been referred to arbitration proceedings and the arbitrator had passed an award in December 2017.

In fact, a deeper probe in the matter revealed that in fact the contactor appointed by BSNL was one private limited company – Mak Infratel private Limited from Delhi and the deceased was only the representative working for the said company. It also transpired that in fact the contactor company itself had not complied with the necessary formalities as we are mandated in the tender conditions as well as the arbitral award and which were necessary for processing of its bills. Failing the mandatory compliances, it was not legally possible for the department to have cleared any of the bills of the contactor company. The department also claimed that the contactorcompany had not returned the balance unused material which was entrusted to it by BSNL, worth of which was over Rs.24 lakh.

In the above circumstances, the death of said Anand, however unfortunate it is, he named top officials of the department including the General manager Telecom Nagpur District Mrs Namratta Tiwari who is an ITS officer and other senior officials claiming that the said officials were responsible for the withholding of bills of the company, leading him into committing suicide. Apart from the written suicide note, the police papers revealed that the deceased had also left behind a video recorded by himself just before his death that gave an account of reasons for his taking the penultimate step of ending his life. During the course of arguments, it was urged that the said video be produced before the court by the prosecuting agency to reveal the truth in the matter and that the said video contains the real reasons for the for the deceased to have ended his life. The prosecution submitted that the video is seized and was being examined by them. It was also strongly urged that in the said video, the deceased gave plenty of personal reasons due to which he was extremely distressed.

And due to which he was ending his life. The District and Sessions judge, considered the law laid down by the Supreme Court as well as the High Court on the point of section 306 of the Indian penal code and as to what constitutes an abetment and more important that without the requisite intention on part of the accused, that the other person should commit suicide, the ingredientsof the offence of abetment of suicide are not made out.

In the aforesaid facts and circumstances of the matter, the District judge confirmed the ad interim bail granted to be accused and directed the release of the BSNL officials and the contractor Tripathi. However, be court has put all the accused on strict conditions and has directed them to appear before the police as and when called upon and also to refrain from tampering with the documentary and other evidences and also to attend Police Station as and when called.

The applicants were represented by Senior Counsel Avinash Gupta and Advocate Aakash Gupta, while the state was represented by Advocate Rashmi Khaparde. The complainant also engaged Adv Chauhan to assist the prosecution and to oppose the bail of the applicants.