FROM THE COURT | Illegal sand extraction from Jhelum: Court grants bail to 8 accused

A local court here Saturday granted bail to eight persons accused of extracting sand illegally from river Jhelum.

After hearing prosecution and defence counsel advocate Marouf Khan, the court of additional district and sessions Srinagar judge, Sanjay Parihar, said though allegations are of grievous nature but having regard to the averments made in the bail application that petitioners are labourers, justice demands that they be released on bail as being the only bread earner of their families.

Court added that their (accused) continuous incarceration must be proving detrimental to the bread and butter of their families.

“Bail is rule and its denial is exception and petitioner herein has been able to make out a case for enlargement on bail. Admitted to bail provided they furnish bail bonds to the tune of Rs. 30,000/-each and personal bond of the like amount with the conditions,” court said.

Court added that the accused persons will not leave the territorial jurisdiction of this court without the proper and prior permission of this court.

“The accused persons will not tamper or hamper with the prosecution evidence and will remain present before the court till the final disposal of the case. In case of default of any of these conditions, prosecution shall be at liberty to file the motion for cancellation of the bail of the accused,” it said.

Earlier, advocate Marouf Khan while moving bail application before the court, submitted that his clients are innocent and “have been wrongly implicated and arrested in this case.”

While referring to various Supreme Court and High Court judgments, advocate Khan prayed that the accused persons be admitted to bail “otherwise it will amount to pre-trial conviction and will also violate their fundamental rights which have been guaranteed to them by the Constitution.”

As per police report, the accused were stealthily removing sand from the banks of river Jhelum without any license and authorization for which they were arrested.

Defence counsel advocate Khan told court that his clients were working under a contractor who has been authorized to remove sand upon the royalty deposited with the Government and “the police agency in high handed manner have arrested petitioners thereby putting their families to loss and injury.”