- NET Web Desk
The Manipur High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, in association with a money laundering case registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
This case was registered by the Guwahati Zonal Office of the ED on March 16, 2020 based on First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Police Station, Manipur in 2018.
A single bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar granted the bail stating that “the court does not find any grounds warranting custodial interrogation at this stage in relation to events that took place long ago.”, as informed by an Indian Express report.
The FIR was filed keeping in view of the offences under Sections 420 and 120-B IPC along with Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
According to the court, “petitioner would abscond or try to evade the law and, in any event, the same can be guarded against by imposing restrictions”.
There’s no such “manifest risk”, of the petitioner tampering with evidence or witnesses at this late stage, stated the court.
The court, however, directed Okram Ibobi Singh not to leave the country and co-operate with the investigation as and when required.
Ibobi was also asked to deposit his passport with the Assistant Director, Sub-Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate in Imphal within two days.
However, the ED sought custodial interrogation of Ibobi to record statement and provide evidence.
It further claimed that the former CM might tamper evidences, and influence witnesses if granted bail.
Its worthy to note that in 2020, the ED registered the case on the ground that the documents pertaining to the Vigilance FIR indicated the accused persons, including Ibobi for allegedly misusing government funds and a case of money laundering, under Section 3 of the Act of 2002, was made out.