Courts exercising bail jurisdiction can’t act like restoration brokers: SC

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 22

A criminal court exercising bail jurisdiction can’t act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant even before the trial was conducted, the Supreme court has said.

“It is well settled by a plethora of decisions of this Court that criminal proceedings are not for realization of disputed dues. It is open to a Court to grant or refuse the prayer for anticipatory bail, depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular case,” a Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said.

“A criminal court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant, and that too, without any trial,” the top court said, allowing an appeal against a Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order to an accused to deposit Rs 41 lakh as a condition for granting him anticipatory bail.

The complainant had alleged that the accused took Rs 41 lakh from him following an agreement for purchase of agricultural land but thereafter refused to execute the sale deed.

While disposing of the anticipatory bail accused Dilip Singh, the High Court directed him to deposit Rs 41 lakhs in court and furnish personal bond in the sum of Rs 50,000 with one solvent surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the arresting officer.

Holding that the dispute of civil nature, the top court said by imposing the condition of deposit of Rs 41 lakh the High Court virtually issued directions in the nature of recovery in a civil suit.

The top court said while deciding bail pleas, courts should take into account factors such as the nature of accusation, severity of the punishment if convicted, nature of the materials relied upon by the prosecution, reasonable apprehension of tampering with witnesses, apprehension of threat to the complainant or the witnesses; reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the time of trial or the likelihood of his abscondence.


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