Rajasthan police initiate process to invoke RAJPASA provisions in Barmer crude oil theft case | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan police initiate process to invoke RAJPASA provisions in Barmer crude oil theft case

Rajasthan Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, 2006, provides for preventive detention of bootleggers, dangerous persons, drug offenders, immoral traffic offenders and property grabbers for preventing anti-social and dangerous activities.

jaipur Updated: Nov 12, 2017 20:31 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Tanker seized by the Barmer police in the crude oil theft scam.
Tanker seized by the Barmer police in the crude oil theft scam. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Barmer police have initiated the process of invoking the provisions of the Rajasthan Prevention of Anti Social Activities Act, 2006 (RAJPASA) in the high-profile Barmer crude oil scam, following directions of the Special Operations Group (SOG), which is probing the matter.

Gagandeep Singla, the superintendent of Barmer police, has directed the police stations concerned to prepare complaints against the accused under provisions of RAJPASA. Earlier on October 12, during the hearing of the bail applications of the accused at the Rajasthan high court, additional advocate general KL Thakur had informed the court that the state government is planning to invoke RAJPASA.

Rajasthan Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, 2006, provides for preventive detention of bootleggers, dangerous persons, drug offenders, immoral traffic offenders and property grabbers for preventing anti-social and dangerous activities. Enacted by the Rajasthan Assembly on October 6, RAJPASA provides for detention of offenders for up to a maximum of one year. The grounds for detention will have to be disclosed to the detainee within three days of his arrest.

On October 13, Thakur had written to the additional director general of police (SOG and ATS) mentioning that the accused are involved in theft and misappropriation of crude oil. He mentioned that such offences affect public order as well as the society at large. They are accused of committing offences against the state (both state and central government) leading to huge financial losses. “If such offences are committed repeatedly, no company will invest in Rajasthan.”

He said that keeping in mind the seriousness of the crime it seems that the normal preventive law could not put a stop to such activities, which are admittedly antisocial and such persons are habitual offenders, hence they are liable to be detained by invoking the special act.

Following Thakur’s letter, on October 24, the ADG directed the Barmer police to follow the directions. On November 4, Gagandeep Singla, superintendent of Barmer police, directed the police officials of Nagana, Sadar and Rageshwari police station, where the crude oil theft cases have been registered, to prepare the complaints.

On July 22, the Barmer police had unearthed a criminal syndicate accused of smuggling more than 50 million litres of crude oil inside water tankers from India’s largest onshore oilfield in Barmer. The theft at the Cairn India oilfield went undetected for nearly six years until the police arrested 34 people involved in it. The police claimed that the tanker operators were stealing crude while it was being transported to the processing terminal through tankers from wells.

Considering the high profile scam, the case was handed over to the SOG on July 29. On September 13, the SOG filed the first 38,411-page charge sheet against the 32 accused under sections 420, 407, 413, 120 B of IPC and 3/7 and 3/8 of EC Act before the chief judicial magistrate court in Barmer.