Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 21, 2018-Friday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Barmer oil theft case: Rajasthan High Court grants bail to 33

On July 22, the Barmer police 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.

jaipur Updated: Nov 20, 2017 20:27 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
Mukesh Mathrani
Hindustan Times
RAJPASA,Crude oil theft,Rajasthan
Barmer police seized recovered 20,000 litres crude oil. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Amid preparations to invoke RAJPASA (Rajasthan Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, 2006) against the accused in the Barmer crude oil theft case, the Rajasthan high court on Monday granted bail to 33 of the total 36 accused. However, additional advocate general (AAG) KL Thakur protested the bail stating that oil is a precious mineral resource and its theft is against the national interest.

The court, however, granted bail to the accused mentioning that they are in jail since July 2017 and the trial is likely to take time. While granting the bail the court said that the petitioners are not required for the investigation and also no apprehension has been raised that the accused may abscond.

Earlier, after hearing the case on November 6 the decision was reserved for November 20.

On Monday, AAG Thakur stated that offence is against the state and involves precious mineral. He also informed the court that the act has been done in a well-planned manner. He told the court that the accused conspired in a manner defeating the modern techniques like GPS etc.

The AAG also referred to the high profile ‘Vaman Narain Ghiya Vs. State of Rajasthan’ case, reported in (2009) 2 SCC 281, in which the bail application of the accused had been rejected on the ground that several nefarious activities of smuggling of antiques, particularly idols, had been committed.

The petitioners’ advocates told the court that no theft has been made out in this case. They argued that from the case diary it isn’t clear what the nature of crude is and the stock register clearly pointed out that the delivery of the liquid was in order and matching with each other, which reflected that no offence has been made out. They further submitted that the petitioners were involved in crude oil transportation.

The advocates of the accused pleaded that a challan has already been filed in the case and the trial is likely to take a long time, and all the alleged offences are triable by the magistrate, therefore bail should be granted.

After hearing both the parties, the court granted bail to the accused. The court also mentioned that the precedent law cited by the AAG is not applicable to the present set of circumstances.

On July 22, the Barmer police 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.

First Published: Nov 20, 2017 20:27 IST