Bail granted to Infamous Clementown house grab case accused cancelled by District Sessions Judge
Dehradun , Sept 13
In an important judgement in the bizarre Clementown house grab case, Dehradun District Session Judge Pardeep Pant has ordered the cancellation of the bail of five of the accused in the case on September 12, 2023. The District Session Judge ordered the cancellation of the bail granted to accused namely Veersain Kashyap, Randeep Singh Randhawa, Vishal Bhardwaj, Nand Kishore Kala and Sunny alias Sarik Ahmed by the Court of ACJM/5th Additional Senior Civil judge, Dehradun on April 11, 2022, on a petition filed by the state.
The District Sessions Judge relying on the Supreme Court judgements held that the impugned bail order was passed on the misconceptionof the provisions law, thus the impugned order became a pervsre order and thus the bail granted to the accused on the basis of this perverse order by cancelled. The accused have been directed to surrender before the concerned magistrate within seven days.
In his order, the District Sessions Judge noted that “ such ground for cancellation of bail would be where ignoring material and evidence on record a perverse order granting bail is passed in a heinous crime of this nature and that too without giving any reason. Such an order would be against principles of law. Interest of Justice would also require that such a perverse order be set aside and bail be cancelled. It must be remembered that such offences are on the rise and have a serious impact on the society. Therefore, an arbitrary and wrong exercise of discretion by the trial court has to be corrected.”
In the astonishing case, it was on January 12, 2021 that a British era house of a deceased naval officer in Clementown area of Dehradun city was razed to the ground and all the belongings looted by the land mafia in alleged connivance with the police when the owner was away. Kusum Kapoor, wife of the deceased naval officer was residing in the said property with her mentally challenged daughter and had gone to NOIDA on January 7, 2022 for some work when her house was raided and demolished.
Kusum Kapoor was informed by her neighbours on telephone on January 12, 2022 that her house is being demolished with the help of JCB machines and tractors. Giving details of her property, she informed that the maternal uncle of her husband Mohinder Malik had purchased the property in 1996 and allowed her husband Commander V.K. Kapur to reside and look after the property.
Kusum Kapoor said that on getting information about the incident she contacted local police official on phone who assured her of action but to her shock and surprise when she reached Dehradun after five hours , the demolition was going on brazenly. On reaching the police station, The incharge of Clementown police station ,Narendra Gehlot rebuked the hapless women and threatened to register cases against them and did not help. In absence of any relief, she went to the residence of Senior Superindent of Police ,Dehradun Janmejay Khanduri on January 13, 2022 where she had to wait for four hours to get an audience with the district police chief. She was asked to come to the office the next day. She had to again wait till evening from morning to meet the SSP. He assured to inquire into the issue and did nothing.
Finally, after running from pillar to post, she with her another daughter Preeti Khattar finally went to meet Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand who ordered an inquiry into the case and ordered that a case be registered against the alleged culprits. Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar had suspended Narendra Gehlaut, the Incharge of the Clementown police station for dereliction of duty.
In the month of February, 2022, after running from pillar to post, the two hapless women were again assured by the DGP Ashok kumar who formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case to expedite investigation. Akshay Kode, SP ( traffic), IPS and Rekha Yadav, an IPS officer from Haridwar have been appointed as members of the SIT but to no avail.
During the epic fight, the family had to live in a van parked in the demolished house. They later erected a tin shed to save themselves from elements.
They had to approach the Nainital High court in the month of May after running for justice for four months , in the case which issued notices to state Home Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dehradun, Station House Officer (SHO),Clementown, Dehradun and Investigation Officer ,in the bizarre case of house demolition, on a criminal writ petition filed by Kusum Kapoor, the victim in the case.
Kusum Kapoor filed the petition WPCRL 932/2022,u/s 482 Cr.PC as a complainant in the FIR no.0008/2022,u/s 452,447,427,323,506,395,397,448,412,34 IPC registered at Clementown police station, alleging weak investigation and failure of the state police to arrest the main accused despite four months. In her petition she charged that she had complained to all the senior officials including approaching the State Police Complaint Authority but the three main accused in the case are not yet arrested.
Interestingly, the arrests in the case were made within hours of Uttarakhand High court issuing notices to the state government and senior police officials on the alleged inaction of the police in apprehending main accused in the case. The High Court issued notices to the state government and police on May 18, 2022.
The Police had announced cash rewards on the three main alleged accused in the case namely Amit Yadav, Saurab Kapoor, a lawyer and Mona Randhawa but were unable to nab them from January till May, 2022 .They were nabbed after court intervention .The Speecial Task Force (STF) of Uttarakhand police had arrested Amit Yadav and Saurab Kapoor from Uttar Pradesh on May 19, 2022.
Interestingly, Preeti Khattar, who had fought relentlessly against powerful well entrenched land mafia of Doon valley had demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the scandal in the record room of the land records in the Registrar office of Dehradun District Magistrate.
Preeti Khattar who had been fighting the case on behalf of her old mother since January, 2022 had alleged that the conspiracy to grab the house of her parents was hatched by the land mafia gang in alleged connivance with the officials of record room of the Registrar at the district courts which has been proven beyond doubt. Moreover, the recent expose by the Dehradun police in scandal at the record room where land records were allegedly changed by a gang of officials, lawyers and land mafia has came to light the multi crore land grab business in Doon valley. The police had formed a Special investigative Team (SIT) in May, 20223 to probe the issue of scandal in changing the land records . Eight persons including a lawyer have been arrested by the police in the Registrar, record room scandal case till date.
Preeti Khattar in a letter addressed to the District Magistrate has stated that the land record in her case were also changed which came to light during the investigation. She said that while the seven accused in her case were nabbed and are in jail but surprisingly, the government lawyers and officials allegedly involved in changing the land records were spared and no action was taken against them. She further said that in another similar case number 116/2019 involving another property in Clementown area, a similar modus operandi was adopted and the present scandal point towards the fact that there could be many more such cases involving huge amount of money.
She said that only a probe by the premier Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) could reveal the entire operation of this gang in duping unsuspecting property owners in Dehradun valley. It was Preeti Khattar who solely fought against powerful land mafia leading to their arrest and unearthing of their modus operandi in grabbing prime properties in the city.