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Jeeva may be a free man, thanks to CBI

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 01:47 IST

DREADED GANGSTER Sanjiv Maheshwari alias Jeeva, detained in Ghazipur jail in connection with BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case, may be a free man if his counsel succeeds to cash in on a CBI lapse to initiate legal proceedings against the gangsters.

In an application filed in the CBI special judicial magistrate’s court in Lucknow on September 7, Jeeva’s counsel Atul Verma has questioned Jeeva’s illegal detention in the Ghazipur jail.

In fact, the CBI court has made it clear that Jeeva was not in its judicial custody. A similar reply came from the Ghazipur chief judicial magistrate’s court following an application on September 6 as Jeeva is CBI’s baby now.

The counsel sought Jeeva’s release on the following technical grounds:

The accused was not produced either in the Lucknow court of the CBI or the Ghazipur court on September 4 when his extension of remand ended. He was last produced in the Ghazipur court on August 22.  Under relevant provisions of the CrPC, an accused is supposed to be produced in court every 14 days for extension of remand. Thus, there was no legal basis for his detention beyond September 4.

Moreover, no charge-sheet had been filed against him in the 90 days since his detention.

Thus, he is entitled to the benefit of provisions of Section 167 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, which specifically states a person cannot be detained for more than 90 days if no chargesheet has been filed.

The counsel also referred to Section 167 (2) sub clause (b) that no magistrate shall authorise detention in any custody under this section unless the accused is produced before him.  The application in the CBI court went on to say Jeeva was arrested in Delhi and produced before the CJM’s court in Ghazipur on a ‘B’ warrant on June 7, 2006. He was remanded in judicial custody by the court the same day and sent to Ghazipur jail.

The application further said Jeeva was regularly produced before the CJM’s court every 14 days for extension of judicial remand.

He was last produced before the Ghazipur court on August 22 and his judicial remand was extended till September 4.

On September 4, the CJM court said the case had been shifted to the CBI special judicial magistrate’s court in Lucknow. The Ghazipur court further mentioned that the accused might be produced before the court that was now concerned with the case.

Meanwhile, a CBI investigating officer (IO) obtained a ‘B’ warrant from the Lucknow CBI court on September 1.

The same day, the CBI court summoned the accused from Ghazipur jail to be produced before the judicial magistrate on September 15.  The moot point is who will be responsible if Jeeva gets bail on technical grounds in a case which has already seen the death of three witnesses. CBI officials have issued directives to the team camping in Ghazipur to probe the role of the accused in the death of the witnesses.