The Kerala High Court on Monday slammed the police for not arresting A. Firoz, suspended Director of Information and Public Relations and an accused in a cheating case registered in connection with the solar scam.
Justice S.S. Satheeschandran made the oral observation while directing the prosecutor to produce the case diary. The court was hearing an anticipatory bail petition by Firoz. He is the third accused in a cheating case registered by the Thiruvananthapuram medical college police in 2009.
The court asked the prosecutor why the police were delaying his arrest. The court pointed out that the police did not arrest him when he was recently admitted to a hospital and wanted to know why he was evading arrest.
The prosecution told the court that the police had charged Firoz with giving “his oral and physical support” to other accused for obtaining illegal gain. However, the petitioner “has not been put in the clutches of law till now”. While he was working as the Director of Information and Public Relations, his involvement in the crime was reported to the then (LDF) government by the investigating officer on November, 2010. But, no reply was received from the government. Therefore, the arrest of the petitioner could not be made at that time
The petitioner has a vital role in the case. If he is granted bail, it will affect the investigation, the prosecution contended.
The charge against the petitioner was that he had introduced Biju Radhakrishnan and Sarita S. Nair as senior strategic adviser to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and chartered accountant respectively to Salim M. Kabir, managing director of a building firm. The petitioner promised to arrange a loan for Mr. Kabir.
Biju came to acquaint himself with Firoz at Kerala House, New Delhi, when the latter was working as the Public Relations Officer there. The petitioner had introduced several people to Biju and Sarita with the intention of cheating them by falsely guaranteeing them bank loans, the prosecution argued.
Firoz had demanded commission for introducing people and the accused had given Rs 5 lakh to him from the amount misappropriated from Salim, gifted two gold rings to his wife and also a car, the prosecution charged.
The investigation revealed that Firoz used to frequently contact the accused over the phone, send SMS and emails regarding their dealings. There were eye-witnesses to prove Firoz’s nexus with Biju and Sarita and their frequent meetings in Thiruvananthapuram.