Thursday, April 22, 2021

India: CBI court dismisses bail of drug kingpin Jagdish Bhola in money laundering case

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Mohali: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of special judge Nirbhow Singh Gill on Thursday dismissed the regular bail application of drug kingpin Jagdish Bhola in money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Bhola, former India wrestler, had filed an application seeking regular bail on the grounds that he has been in custody since January 2014 and two of his aides had either been granted bail or were acquitted.

Turning down the plea, the CBI judge said the accused is kingpin of a multi-crore racket and has been involved in organized drugs smuggling racket in connivance with his aides. Bhola has amassed property either in his name or in names of his close relatives from the drug money, the judge added.

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Bhola has already been convicted in three cases, first in 2013 Fatehgarh Sahib case of recovery of 10 kg white intoxicant powder from his residence; second in the 2013 NDPS Act of Banus police station and recently in May 2019, in a multi-crore drugs racket, busted by the Punjab Police in 2013.

The judgment concluded that keeping in view the serious nature of allegations, Bhola is not entitled to be released on regular bail and dismissed the plea.

Related: CBI court issues warrant against ex-Union Minister’s son, 2 others

Bhola’s counsel contested that his co-accused — Gurjit Gaba and Anoop Singh Kahlon — were granted bail by high court in the schedule offence whereas co-accused Maninder Singh alias Bittu Aulakh and Sukhraj Singh have already been acquitted in the schedule offence.

Ruling out the plea, the court said that as per allegation, the petitioner was one of the main accused in the schedule offence and it is alleged that he was running a drug racket in connivance with the remaining accused.

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In February, Bhola was convicted by the CBI court in sensational Rs 6,000 crore synthetic drug haul case. Former international wrestler and Arjuna awardee sportsperson was convicted by a CBI court here in a multi-crore drugs racket, busted by the Punjab Police in 2013.

Bhola had served as Punjab’s deputy superintendent of police (DSP) but was dismissed from service in 2012 after his drug links were revealed.

The Punjab Police had arrested Bhola in November 2013 in connection with a Rs 700-crore racket. Subsequent police action against the drug mafia led to the busting of a Rs 6,000-crore drug racket.

Bhola was the kingpin of the drug network which was diverting precursor chemicals for medicinal purposes to illegal factories in Himachal Pradesh that manufactured synthetic drugs and was supplying these to the international market in Europe, Canada and the United States.

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