Section 482 CrPC: Interim protection order can be passed in exceptional cases giving brief reasons: Supreme Court - The Daily Guardian
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Section 482 CrPC: Interim protection order can be passed in exceptional cases giving brief reasons: Supreme Court

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While specifying on the interim protection that can be passed by the High Court in exceptional cases, the Apex Court has just recently on July 20, 2021 in a latest, landmark, laudable and learned judgment titled AP Mahesh Cooperative Urban Bank Shareholders Welfare Association vs Ramesh Kumar Bung and Ors in Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 3869 of 2021 with Special Leave (Criminal) No. 3875 of 2021 has observed in no uncertain terms that the High Courts can pass interim protection order in Section 482 CrPC petitions in exceptional cases by giving brief reasons. It must also be brought out here that the two Judge Bench of the Apex Court comprising of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice V Ramasubramanian said quite specifically that, “What is frowned upon in Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt Ltd vs State of Maharashtra in Criminal Appeal No. 330 of 2021 is the tendency of the courts to pass blanket, cryptic, laconic, non-speaking orders reading “no coercive steps shall be adopted”.” All the courts must adhere to what has been laid down by the Apex Court in this leading case.

To start with, Justice V Ramasubramanian who has authored this brief, brilliant and balanced judgment for himself and Justice Indira Banerjee of the Apex Court sets the ball rolling right from para 1 wherein it is put forth that, “Challenging an order passed by the High Court for the State of Telangana in two interlocutory applications granting stay of all further proceedings including the arrest of the Respondents 1 to 3 herein (petitioners before the High Court), pending two main petitions for quashing the criminal complaints in Crime Nos. 218 and 222 of Banjara Hills Police Station, Hyderabad, the de facto complainant, has come up with these Special Leave Petitions.”

While elaborating on the complaint filed, the Bench then enunciates in para 3 that, “The petitioner herein filed two complaints on the file of the III Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Hyderabad against the Respondents 1 to 3 herein on 19.02.2021. The learned Magistrate passed an order under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, directing the police to register cases and take up investigation, pursuant to which, the Police registered two First Information Reports (FIR for short) in Crime Nos. 218 and 222 of 2021 respectively on 12.03.2021 and 13.03.2021.”

While elaborating further, the Bench then observes in para 4 that, “The Respondents 1 to 3 herein who were the accused in those two complaints were described in those two complaints respectively as (i) Presently Chairman and erstwhile Senior Vice Chairman; (ii) Managing Director and CEO; and (iii) Presently Vice Chairman and erstwhile Chairman of A.P. Mahesh Cooperative Urban Bank. The offences complained of by the petitioner against the Respondents 1 to 3 herein were under Sections 409, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 477A read with 120B IPC. It is necessary to take note at this stage that the Cooperative Bank involved is actually a multi-state cooperative society governed by the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002.”

To be sure, the Bench then states in para 5 that, “Immediately after the registration of the complaints, the Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 herein filed two petitions in Criminal Petition Nos. 2370 and 2371 of 2021 under Section 482 of the Code seeking to quash the criminal complaints. Pending disposal of the criminal complaints, the Respondents 1 to 3 herein sought interim stay of all further proceedings including their arrest, in FIR Nos. 218 and 222 of 2021.”

Needless to say, the Bench then states in para 6 that, “The applications for stay in I.A. Nos. 1 and 1 of 2021 were hotly contested by the petitioner herein, as the petitioner was arrayed as the second respondent in the quash petitions.”

As we see, the Bench then points out in para 7 that, “After hearing the Respondents 1 to 3 herein (persons accused) and the petitioner herein (de facto complainant), the High Court passed a reasoned order on 27.04.2021 granting stay of all further proceedings in both the complaints. It is against the said order that the petitioner has come up with the above SLPs.”

To put things in perspective, the Bench then envisages in para 13 that, “The above sequence of events would show that the petitioner herein who was admittedly registered as an Association only in the year 2019 (as per the averments in Para 2 of W.P. No. 21795 of 2020), fired their first salvo, only against the proposed elections, by filing a writ petition on 30.11.2020. After failing to get any interim order preventing the Returning Officer from proceeding with the election, the petitioner indulged in a multi-pronged attack, by sending police complaints by post on 02.01.2021 and 03.01.2021, then moving the Hon’ble Minister and getting a direction from him to the Commissioner of Police on 22.01.2021, thereafter moving a post-election writ petition in Writ Petition No. 2724 of 2021 to prevent the newly elected Board from taking charge and then filing private complaints before the III Additional Metropolitan Magistrate on 19.02.2021 and getting an order under Section 156(3) of the Code leading to the registration of the FIRs. The complaints lodged by the petitioner Association, contained allegations relating to the period 2016-2019 and 2020, though the association itself was registered only in 2019.”

Interestingly enough, the Bench then points out in para 14 that, “It is of interest to note that the petitioner Association which lawfully came into existence by registering itself as an Association under the relevant law only in 2019, started off only with a grievance relating to the elections and the creation of the post of Chairman Emeritus, at the beginning. It appears that the petitioner Association moved a writ petition way back in February, 2020 in W.P. No. 3687 of 2020 expressing an apprehension that elections will not be conducted fairly. But a learned Judge of the High Court dismissed the writ petition by an order dated 20.02.2020. As against the said order, the petitioner filed a writ appeal in W.A. No. 154 of 2020 which is stated to be pending.”

To say the least, the Bench then states in para 15 that, “The petitioner has made a passing reference in Paragraph 3 of their writ petition W.P. No. 21795 of 2020, to the above writ appeal W.A. No. 153 of 2020, which even according to them, related only to an election dispute.”

Furthermore, the Bench then adds in para 16 that, “Similarly, the petitioner has made a passing reference to another writ appeal in W.A. No. 141 of 2020 in Para 3 of their writ petition in W.P. No. 21795 of 2020. This, according to the petitioner Association related to the conferment of the title of Chairman Emeritus on the 1st Respondent herein. The background facts relating to this writ appeal, are not disclosed by the petitioner fully in their writ petition.”

Quite palpably, the Bench then remarks in para 17 that, “Therefore, it is obvious that the petitioner started a dispute first against the conferment of the title of Chairman Emeritus on the 1st Respondent and then they raised issues with regard to the proposed elections, first in a writ petition filed in February, 2020 and then in a writ petition filed in November, 2020. It is only thereafter that the allegations relating to loan fraud were raised by the petitioner Association. Apparently, the petitioner had the blessings of the powers that be, which is why a direction was issued on 22.01.2021 by the Hon’ble Minister, to the Commissioner of Police to register the complaints and report to the Government.”

Be it noted, the Bench then stipulates in para 18 that, “What is important to note, is the fact that in I.A. No. 1 of 2020 in W.P. No. 21975 of 2020 the petitioner had prayed for a direction to Respondents 1 to 4 therein (namely the State of Telangana, Central Registrar, the Returning Officer and the Management of the Bank) to conduct a thorough investigation with the help of the police/investigation agencies.

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The learned Judge who heard this I.A. along with other applications in the connected writ petitions, merely ordered (on 08.01.2021), notice returnable by 02.02.2021 in the said application.”

Going ahead, the Bench then brings out in para 19 that, “In the next writ petition W.P. No. 2724 of 2021 filed by the petitioner on 03.02.2021 (after the declaration of results pursuant to the order of the High Court dated 08.01.2021), the petitioner again made a prayer for interim relief to suspend the elected Board on the ground that allegations of large scale money siphoning, fraud and falsification and forging of documents are under police investigation. On the date on which W.P. No. 2724 of 2021 was filed namely 03.02.2021, no FIR was pending, but the petitioner was emboldened to make such a statement in their writ petition, on account of the endorsement that they were able to secure from the Hon’ble Minister on 22.01.2021. It is only after failing to secure any interim order even in the second writ petition that the private complaints were filed by the petitioner before the Magistrate on 19.02.2021.” Quite ostensibly, the Bench then minces just no words to state clearly in para 20 that, “Therefore, it was patently an election dispute which was sought to be converted to a criminal case. More often than not election disputes are fought on different turfs, such as polling booths, police stations and court rooms. Sometimes, persons who raise these disputes manage to camouflage their real motive by words clothed in high moral fiber and strong legal content. But unfortunately, the petitioner could not do it successfully in this case, as the election disputes came to the court first before the petitioner could fall back upon allegations of loan fraud. Fortunately, the High Court saw through the game. This is why the High Court in its impugned order, granted the extraordinary relief of stay of further proceedings including the arrest of Respondents 1 o 3 herein. The facts are so glaring and the background setting so shocking, that the High Court correctly found it to be a fit and proper case to grant interim relief to Respondents 13 herein.”

Quite rightly, the Bench then points out in para 21 that, “Having seen the factual aspects, let us now deal with the three questions of law on which the learned counsel for the petitioner sought to raise a high pitch.”

More to the point, the Bench then quite forthrightly states in para 22 that, “CAs rightly pointed out by the learned senior counsel appearing for Respondents 1 to 3, Neeharika (supra) certainly allowed space for the High Court to pass an interim order of the nature impugned herein, “in exceptional cases with caution and circumspection, giving brief reasons”. What is frowned upon in Neeharika (supra) is the tendency of the courts to pass blanket, cryptic, laconic, non-speaking orders reading “no coercive steps shall be adopted”. In Paragraph 60 of the Report in Neeharika (supra), this Court recognized that there may be allegations of abuse of process of law, converting a civil dispute into a criminal dispute, with a view to pressurize the accused. In the order impugned in these petitions, the High Court has given elaborate reasons as to how the allegations of bank fraud were developed during the proceedings concerning allegations of election fraud. Therefore, the impugned order cannot be said to be bad in the light of Neeharika principles.”

Frankly speaking, the Bench then rightly adds in para 23 that, “In fact, Neeharika reiterates the parameters laid down in the celebrated decision in State of Haryana vs. Bhajan Lal 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335. One of the cardinal principles evolved in Bhajan Lal (supra) found in paragraph 102 (7) reads as follows:

“where a criminal proceeding is manifestly attended with mala fide and/or where the proceeding is maliciously instituted with an ulterior motive for wreaking vengeance on the accused and with a view to spite him due to private and personal grudge.”

In paragraph 37 of the decision in Neeharika, the above passage from Bhajan Lal is extracted. In fact Bhajan Lal (supra) took note of the view expressed by Bhagwati, C.J. in Sheonandan Paswan vs. State of Bihar (1987) 1 SCC 288 to the effect “that a criminal prosecution, if otherwise justifiable and based upon adequate evidence, does not become vitiated on account of mala fides or political vendetta of the first informant or complainant.” Yet Bhajan Lal (supra) laid down seven principles in paragraph 102, the last which we extracted above. The seven principles enunciated in paragraph 102 of Bhajan Lal (a two member Bench) are actually quoted with approval in Neeharika (a three member Bench).”

Bluntly put, the Bench then minces no words to say it upright in para 24 that, “In fact, one of the interim prayers sought by the petitioner in the civil writ proceedings is for the conduct of a forensic audit. The said prayer is pending consideration. Allegations of the nature projected by the petitioner cannot be taken for their face value without a forensic audit and the court cannot go by the ipse dixit of the petitioner.”

What’s more, the Bench also then forthrightly adds in para 25 that, “It is completely wrong on the part of the petitioner to contend that the High Court was swayed by the pendency of civil writ proceedings. The High Court actually took note of the manner in which the color of the entire proceedings changed from February 2020 to February 2021 and it is in that background that the learned Judge took note of the pendency of civil proceedings and the overlapping of allegations. Therefore, the petitioner cannot press into service the ratio in Mohd. Allauddin Khan (supra) and K. Jagdish (supra).”

For the sake of clarity, the Bench then hastened to add in para 26 that, “Even the decision in NN Global Mercantile Pvt Ltd (supra) will not go the rescue of the petitioner since the reference in the impugned order to Section 84 of the Multi-state Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 is only for the limited purpose of dealing with the allegations relating to admission of members.”

Finally, the Bench then holds in para 27 that, “Therefore, we are of the considered view that the High Court was perfectly justified in granting interim protection to the Respondents 1 to 3 herein and in ensuring that the supremacy of the ballot is not sabotaged by the authority of the police. Hence the SLPs are dismissed. Consequently the applications for stay are dismissed and the stay earlier granted is vacated. The vacate stay petitions are closed in view of the dismissal of the stay applications.”

In conclusion, the Apex Court has very rightly maintained in no uncertain terms that the High Courts can pass interim protection order in Section 482 CrPC petitions in exceptional cases by giving brief reasons. The High Courts must comply with accordingly and give brief reasons also with the judgment as directed so in this notable case by the Apex Court! No denying it!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road,

Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, UP.

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Legally Speaking

GAUHATI HIGH COURT QUASHES NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION AGAINST GRAM PANCHAYAT PRESIDENT CITING PARTICIPATION OF MEMBER DISQUALIFIED FOR HAVING THREE CHILDREN

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The Gauhati High Court in the case Jugitawali Pawe v State of Assam and 15 ors observed and quashed a resolution expressing no-confidence in the petitioner – the President of a Gram Panchayat, as a result of which she as removed from office. It was stated that it is as per the citing no compliance with Assam Panchayat Act, 1994, reading with Rule 62 of the Assam Panchayat (Constitution) Rules, 1995.

It was preferred by the petitioner to the materials available on record to argue that one of the members of the Gaon Panchayat, the respondent. The respondent voted against the petitioner and had given birth to her third child the previous year. Moreover, by virtue of Section 111(2)(a) of the Assam Panchayat Act, 1994, reading with Rule 62 of the Assam Panchayat (Constitution) Rules, 1995, the petitioner stood automatically disqualified on the date of voting. Following, which her vote was taken by passing No-confidence motion.

It was prayed by the petitioner in the plea for setting aside the impugned resolution and for issuance of a direction to restore his client back in the office. Thereafter, to initiate fresh proceedings, liberty should be granted to the respondent, following the due process.

It was agreed by the Counsel representing for the respondent that the said member of the panchayat had been disqualified but retained on the ground that the disqualification would have no bearing on the petitioner’s case, as the impugned resolution was passed before the declaration of petitioner disqualification.

In the present case, It was noticed by Justice Suman Shyam the member had voted against the petitioner and without her vote. The petitioner would not have been ousted from office. Justice Shyam also found no dispute about the fact that the member had incurred disqualification under the law prior the date of adoption of the impugned resolution. Justice Shyam found it unnecessary to delve into other aspects of the matter which includes the procedural formalities for declaring the member a disqualified candidate.

It is observed that the impugned resolution was declared to be vitiated and liable to be set aside. Further, the Court restored the petitioner to the office of the President of the Bongalmara Gaon Panchayat with immediate effect and it was stated by the court that the order will not stand in the way should the authorities or any member of the Gaon Panchayat propose a fresh motion of “no-confidence” against the petitioner and the due process of law needs to be followed.

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Halt DDA’s demolition action against jhuggis in Nizamuddin’s Gyaspur area, orders Delhi High Court

As per the JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy 2015 and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, the residents who can establish their residence prior to 01.01.2015 are eligible for rehabilitation under the JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy 2015.

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plea in Delhi High Court seeking repatriation of 56 pregnant nurses

The Delhi High Court in the case Manoj Gupta & Ors. v. DDA & Ors observed and has ordered status quo on the Delhi Development Authority’s proposal to demolish jhuggi clusters in city’s Gyaspur area in Hazrat Nizamuddin. The vacation bench comprising of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna observed in the petition filled by the residents and the court granted an interim relief.

It was ordered by the court status quo till July 11, the next date of hearing.

The bench orally remarked that a ten-day delay in demolition won’t make a difference but if today it is demolished and later, we come to know that they were entitled, who’s going to… the bench will consider it on July 11, 2022 but in the Meanwhile, some protections are entitled them. Adding this, Status quo be maintained. If since 1995, they have been there, heavens won’t come down if for 10 more days they are protected.

In the plea the petitioner stated that the T-Huts settlement in the area, which was stated by the authorities to vacate. It has been in existence for almost two decades and compromise of 32 jhuggis or households.

In the plea it was alleged that the bulldozers have been parked around the camp and a DDA official has orally asked them to vacate the area and it is noted that till date no proper notice have been sent to them nor has DDA conducted any survey of the area.

Furthermore, the DDA did not provide any alternate arrangement for their rehabilitation which resulted in extreme distress among the residents.

Moreover, it was admitted by the petitioner that the land in question belongs to DDA and they may seek that status-quo to be maintained at the site. It was urged that the residents should not be physically dispose or evicted from the demolition site until the survey is conducted and rehabilitation is provided to the residents as per the DUSIB policy of 2015.

As per the JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy 2015 and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. The residents who can establish their residence prior to 01.01.2015 are eligible for rehabilitation under the JJ Rehabilitation and Relocation Policy 2015.

It is observed that in the case Ajay Maken v. Union of India, Reliance is placed on the Supreme Court decision and the High Court decision in the case Sudama Singh & Ors. v. Government of Delhi & Anr, it was held in the case that that removal of jhuggis without ensuring relocation would amount of gross violation of Fundamental Rights under Article 21 of the Constitution. Further, it was held that the agencies conducting the demolitions ought to conduct survey before undertaking any demolition.

It is submitted that these observations would apply across the board, in the entire NCT of Delhi.

Advocates Vrinda Bhandari, Shiyaz Razaq, Kaoliangpou Kamei, Jepi Y Chisho and Paul Kumar Kalai, represented the petitioner.

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TELANGANA HIGH COURT: PLACE OF RESIDENCE OF THE ARBITRATOR WOULD NOT BE THE SEAT OF ARBITRATION

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The High Court of Telangana in the case M/s S. Square Infra v. Garneni Chalapathi Rao observed and held that the place of residence of the arbitrator would not determine the seat of arbitration.

The Single bench comprising of Justice P. Sree Sudha observed and held that merely because an arbitrator residing in Hyderabad has been appointed, it does not mean that only the Courts at Hyderabad would have the jurisdiction to decide all the matters arising out of arbitration agreement.

Facts of the Case:

In the present case, after the dispute arouse between the parties, the respondent sent a letter to the petitioner for nomination an arbitrator who is residing in Hyderabad. To its said notice, petitioner replied and declined the appointment of the arbitrator for the reason that there was no dispute which required the appointment of an arbitrator.

A suit was filled by the respondent before the VII Additional District Judge Sangareddy, seeking for relief of permanent injunction. An application was filled by the petitioner under Section 8 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act and the parties referred to the arbitration.

An application was filled by the respondent under section 9 of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act before the Principal District Judge, Sangareddy, Subsequently, an application was filled by the petitioner for transferring the application from the Court at Sangareddy to Court at Hyderabad.

Contentions made by Parties:

On the following grounds, the petitioner sought the transfer of application.

An arbitrator residing in Hyderabad was nominated to respondent. However, only the courts in Hyderabad would have the jurisdiction to decide all the matters arising out of the arbitration.

It was stated that the nomination of an arbitrator residing in Hyderabad amounted to designating Hyderabad as the Seat of Arbitration.

On the following grounds, the respondent countered the submissions of the petitioner:

An application was filled by the petitioner under Section 8 of the A&C Act before the Court at Sangareddy. However, in terms of Section 42 of the A&C Act, only the court at Sangareddy would have the jurisdiction to decide all the matters arising out of arbitration.

Court Analysis:

The Court held that the seat of arbitration would not be decide by the place of residence of the arbitrator.

The argument of the petitioner was rejected by the court that since the respondent had initially nominated an arbitrator residing in Hyderabad, the Hyderabad Court would have the jurisdiction.

The court stated that merely because a party has nominated an arbitrator who resides in Hyderabad, the same would not designate Hyderabad as the Seat of arbitration in absence of any designation of the seat under the arbitration agreement.

It was further stated by the court that the application filled by the petitioner filled under Section 8 application before the Court at Sangareddy consequent to which the parties were referred to arbitration. Therefore, the Court would have the jurisdiction, in terms of Section 42 of the A&C Act.

The Transfer petition was dismissed by the Court.

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DELHI HIGH COURT REMANDS IN THE MATTER BACK TO ASSESSING OFFICER AFTER SETTING ASIDE: JUST 3 DAYS’ TIME GRANTED TO RESPOND TO THE INCOME TAX NOTICE

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plea in Delhi High Court seeking repatriation of 56 pregnant nurses

The Delhi High Court in the case Shubham Thakral Vs ITO, the Delhi bench comprising of Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora observed and remanded the matter back to the assessing officer as just 3 days’ time was granted to respond to the income tax notice.

In the present case, the petitioner/assessee assailed the notice under Section 148A (b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the order passed under Section 148A (d) for the Assessment Year 2018–19.

It was contended by the assessee that only three days’ time was granted to the assessee to respond, as against the mandatory statutory period of at least seven days. However, despite of the fact that the annexure attached to the notice gave the petitioner eight days to respond, the e-filing submission portal was closed earlier, in violation of Section 148A (b) of the Income Tax Act.

Furthermore, the petitioner relied on the decision of Delhi High Court, in the case of Shri Sai Co-operative Thrift and Credit Society Ltd versus ITO, the Delhi High Court in the case held that under Section 148A (b), a minimum time of seven days has to be granted to the assessee to file its reply to the show cause notice.

No objections were raised by the department/respondent to the matter being returned to the Assessing Officer for a fresh decision in accordance with the law. Accordingly, the court set aside the order passed under Section 148A (d) for the Assessment Year 2018-19. The Assessing officer was directed by the court to pass a fresh reasoned order in accordance with the law after considering the reply of the petitioner, which was directed to be filed within a week.

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ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT: ADVOCATES SHOULDN’T ADVISE CLIENTS TO REAGITATE MATTERS IF THERE IS NO ERROR APPARENT ON FACE OF RECORD

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The Allahabad High Court in the case Malhan and 17 Others Vs. State Of U.P. And Another observed and stated that an advocate should be given such a piece of advice when there is no error apparent on the face of the record nor was there any reason why the matter be re-agitated it was finally decided.

The bench comprising of Justice Dr. Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Vivek Varma observed while dealing with the civil review application wherein the bench observed the concerned advised his client to make a chance by filling the instant review application after a period of six year.

In the present case, a civil review petition was filled along with the application under section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963., the application was filled for seeking condonation of delay in filling the application, the application was filled with a delay of six years i.e., 1900 days.

It was stated by the applicant that the review application could not be filled due to the blockage of public transportation on account of the COVID-19 guidelines.

Moreover, the court observed that the appeals were disposed of by the Apex Court in the year 2016 and only in 2020-2021, the pandemic struck India and furthermore, it cannot be said that due to the COVID guidelines the public transportation was blocked and however, the applicant could not come to Allahabad Court to file review.

Further, it was stated that the court asked the counsel for the review applicants to explain the delay in filling the review application, to which the council gave a strange reply that the counsel had advised the clients that they must take a chance by filling this review application after a period of six years.

Following this, the Court observed:

The court noted that an advocate should not give such an advice when there is no error apparent on the face of record nor was there any other reason that when the matter was finally decided, why the matter be re-agitated.

It was stated that the court has no reason to condone the delay of six years as the same was not explained as to why this review application is filed after such an inordinate delay.

The Court opined that the lapse in approaching the court within the time is understandable but a total inaction for long period of delay without any explanation whatsoever and that too in absence of showing any sincere attempt on the part of suiter, this would add to his negligence and the relevant factor going against him.

The court observed that careless and reckless is shown by the review applicant in approaching the court and due to the condemnation of delay in the application with a token cost of Rs.10,000/, the court dismissed the application.

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SUPREME COURT CRITICISES HIGH COURT: POSTING ANTICIPATORY BAIL PLEA AFTER TWO MONTHS CAN’T BE APPRECIATED

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The Supreme Court in the case Sanjay versus The State (NCT of Delhi) & ANR observed and stated that in the case where personal liberty is involved, the court is expected to pass orders at the earliest while taking into account the merits of the matter in one way or other. Further, the top court observed that posting of an application for anticipatory bail after a couple of months cannot be appreciated by the court.

The bench comprising of Justice C. T. Ravikumar and the Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing a June 2 SLP against the Delhi High Court in a petition filed under section 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for seeking anticipatory bail in a 2022 FIR, a notice is issued. It was stated that the learned APP for the state is present and accepts the notice and seeks time to file status report. The High Court in the impugned order stated that Let the status report be filed by the state prior to the next date with an advance copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner. The matter is to be list on 31.08.2022.

It was noted by the bench comprising of Justice Ravikumar and the Justice Dhulia that in the captioned Special Leave Petition, the grievance of the petitioner is that the application for anticipatory bail moved by the petitioner, being Crl. M.A. No. 11480 of 2022 in Bail Application No. 1751 of 2022 without granting any interim protection, was posted to 31.08.2022. on 24.05.2022, the bail application was moved on.

However, the bench asserted that the bench is of the considered view that in a matter involving personal liberty, the Court is expected to to pass orders at the earliest while taking into account the merits of the matter in one way or other.

It was declared by the bench that at any rate posting an application for anticipatory bail after a couple of months cannot be appreciated by the court.

Further, the bench requested to the High Court to dispose off the application for anticipatory bail on its own merits and in accordance with law expeditiously, preferably within a period of three weeks after reopening of the Court. Adding to it, the bench stated that if the main application could not be disposed off, for any reason, within the stipulated time, relief sought for in the interlocutory and on and on its own merits, the application shall be considered.

While disposing of the SLP, the bench directed in its order that we grant interim protection from arrest to the petitioner herein, Till such time.

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