HC rejects bail plea of NC leader’s son

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Friday rejected the bail application of Hilal Rather, the son of senior National Conference leader and former Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, in a bank fraud case. To seek interim bail, the accused had moved an application before single bench of Justice Puneet Gupta. He pleaded that in view of the coronavirus infection and Supreme Court’s direction to ‘decongest jails’ he may be given interim bail while claiming that he is suffering from many ailments.

Objecting to the plea of the accused, advocate Monika Kohli representing CBI contended that there was no medical report from the jail authorities to substantiate the claims of the accused that he was facing any medical condition. Counsel Kohli submitted that his release would be detrimental to the ongoing probe in the case as he could tamper with the evidence and may threaten witnesses.

Justice Puneet Gupta after hearing the counsel rejected the bail application while observing that the accused faces charges which are of serious nature. Justice Gupta remarked that the bail cannot be granted on mere asking of the accused and nor can it be claimed as a matter of right. Hilal Rather was arrested early this year for alleged misappropriation of term loans sanctioned by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank which run into Rs 177 crore, according to the prosecution. The loans were sanctioned in favour of Rather by the bank in 2012 for construction of apartments in Jammu, but he allegedly used the loan amount for purchasing properties and trips abroad and did not repay the loan amount.

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