A Punjab and Haryana high court bench on Friday granted interim bail to former director, agriculture, Punjab, Mangal Singh Sandhu.
The bail was given in the second first information report (FIR) registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for his alleged involvement in the pesticide scam. The FIR was for alleged irregularities in proposals for purchase of particular insecticides for aphide/ whitefly.
Sandhu had argued that the second FIR was registered on October 6, 2015, and he was arrested on October 5, 2015, under another FIR that was registered three days prior to his arrest.
The court was told that the present FIR was registered when he was in custody in another case and the investigating agency could have arrested him in present case as well. He said neither production warrants were sought nor application was filed for the arrest. Hence, it was a case where the petitioner was not required for custodial interrogation, he had argued.
The high court bench of justice MMS Bedi, while asking him to join investigation as and when asked by police, and has directed investigators that in the event of arrest, he be released on bail. In the first FIR, Sandhu got bail in December 2015. In the first FIR, he is accused of bribing officials of the agriculture department to store spurious pesticides and insecticides and sell the same to the farmers.