FCRA notices to NGOs: Court grants bail to MHA official Anand Joshi

A special court Tuesday granted bail to Home Ministry official Anand Joshi, who was arrested for allegedly issuing FCRA notices arbitrarily to several NGOs for financial gains, observing that the accused cannot be put in jail for an indefinite period.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016, 14:54 PM IST

New Delhi: A special court Tuesday granted bail to Home Ministry official Anand Joshi, who was arrested for allegedly issuing FCRA notices arbitrarily to several NGOs for financial gains, observing that the accused cannot be put in jail for an indefinite period.

Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar gave the relief to Joshi, who was an under secretary in the Home Ministry, on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount.

"Accusations are serious but the accused cannot be put in jail for an indefinite period. Considering that he is not likely to abscond, bail is granted to the accused," the judge said.

The court imposed several bail conditions on the accused while cautioning him "if CBI makes any complaint that he is trying to contact/influence any NGO or witness, the court will cancel the bail."

The court directed Joshi not to leave Ghaziabad and Delhi till the time investigation is over and also asked him to deposit his passport with the investigating officer (IO).

It, however, said that in case of any emergency, he can leave for Ranchi, where his parents reside, after taking the court's prior permission.

"He will not try to influence any witness or to contact any of the NGOs being probed," the court said.

During the arguments on the bail plea, the court observed that Joshi's conduct was doubtful as he had earlier fled as per CBI's allegation.

The court also asked Joshi to make his presence before the IO every Monday.

Joshi sought bail, saying that he was not in a condition to influence any witness or NGO and that he has been transferred from the Home Ministry.

Opposing the plea, CBI said that if granted bail, Joshi could threaten witnesses as he was in an influential capacity.

It also submitted that a large number of NGOs were required to be investigated and there were apprehensions that he could abscond.

While seeking bail, Joshi said neither the files nor the NGOs were under his control and he could not even touch those documents. He added he will not flee if granted the relief.

Joshi, who was arrested from west Delhi on May 15, was presently under judicial custody.

CBI had earlier claimed that files relating to several NGOs had gone missing from the Home Ministry and they were recovered from his house although he was not supposed to take them away.