Bokaro uranium material seized by Police.
MORE THAN two months after seven people were arrested on suspicion of “possessing and planning to sell mineral uranium” in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district, a city court will hear a statement of bail from one of the defendants on Wednesday.
This will be Bapi Chandra’s third attempt to obtain bail and the first after police filed the charge sheet in the case.
Incidentally, the police have removed the provisions related to the Atomic Energy Law from the charge sheet they filed on July 31, indicating that the material seized was not uranium.
Chandra’s latest bail statement, submitted through his attorney SP Singh, reads: “The petitioner is in jail without any evidence … That the investigating officer after examination found that it is not uranium, it has to present the final report in this case, but due to an incorrect interpretation presented the charge sheet in incorrect sections “.
All the accused have been in judicial custody since their arrest on June 3.
The Bokaro police presented the statement of charges based on the “confession of the accused” and other evidence and accused the seven of falsification, criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy, among others.
The charge sheet read: “… a case was registered against nine defendants [two could not be arrested] that in a conspiracy they were in possession of nuclear energy material. With the statement of all defendants and witnesses, report of seized material collected, and detailed call logs of all defendants collected and after investigation, a case of IPC Sections 467 [forgery of valuable security, will], 468 [forgery for purpose of cheating), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 414 (whoever voluntarily assists in concealing or disposing of or making away with property which he knows or has reason to believe to be stolen property], 120 B [Criminal Conspiracy], 420 [Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property] it is made and sent to court. ”
The police withdrew their IPC Section 34 charge sheet (common intention of all defendants) and the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, which were mentioned in the FIR.
On June 3, the police had announced the seizure of 6.4 kg of “uranium ore” from two of the defendants who were arrested along with five others.
However, on June 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said: “The Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, after due evaluation and laboratory analysis of the material sample has stated that the seized material last week is not uranium and not radioactive. “The statement was a response to statements by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry for an investigation into the” seizure of nuclear material “.
When asked about the reasons for the arrests, Bokaro SP Chandan Jha told The Indian Express: “So why did the seven defendants lie to the police? The investigation continues ”.
Police sources said the defendants were under the impression that the material they had was uranium.
In July, the bail declarations of the seven defendants were rejected by the Judicial Magistrate, as well as by a Judge of Additional Sessions.
Lawyer Birendra Prasad, who represented the defendant Mahavir Mahato, said: “The court order was based on the fact that the police in their diary of the case did not mention that the material seized was not uranium. Therefore, the court rejected the bond even though the material was not uranium, as the MEA also announced ”.