Read Order: Satyabir Singh v. State of Haryana

LE Staff

Chandigarh, October 13, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has recently accepted a Petition seeking grant of anticipatory bail in a case pertaining to an FIR registered at Police Station Kanina, District Mahendergarh under various provisions of the IPC.

The FIR in question was lodged at the instance of Dharambir wherein it was stated that his nephew Rinku alongwith Pankaj was going on a motorcycle which was being driven by Rinku and a pick-up van came from opposite side which was being driven at a high speed and in a negligent and rash manner and hit against the motorcycle driven by complainant’s nephew, as a result of which Pankaj died at the spot and Rinku breathed his last in the hospital. 

The name of owner of the offending vehicle was found to be Hanuman. The offending vehicle was found to be driven by Sandeep, son of Hanuman,  at the time of accident.

It was the prosecution’s case that the petitioner, who is an Advocate, had conspired with the main accused and in order to help him had planned to destroy the vehicle in question and in execution of the plan, the vehicle in question was stated to have been sold to Sunil by way of an affidavit and said Sunil, had given the vehicle to one Shri Bhagwan who is a client of Satyavir, Advocate on a monthly rent.

Later Shri Bhagwan got a false FIR lodged at a Police Station in West Delhi to the effect that his vehicle had been stolen though the same had never been stolen. Later, Shri Bhagwan sold the pick-up van as scrap to a scrap-vendor to save Sandeep from legal consequences and the vehicle had, thus, been destroyed.

The petitioner submitted that even if the entire case of the prosecution was taken to be correct, still the petitioner could not, in any manner, be held responsible and liable for commission of any offence under Section 304 IPC and at best could be held liable for offences under Section 201 or 206 IPC for having destroyed evidence or property in order to help brother-in-law of his younger brother, both of which are bailable offences.

The respondent opposed the Petition, by stating that the petitioner, being an Advocate, was in league with co-accused and had masterminded the destruction of evidence and since he had also been declared a proclaimed offender, no case for grant of anticipatory bail was made out.

The Bench of Justice Gurvinder Singh Gill observed that as far as the contention of the State counsel to the effect that the petitioner had earlier been declared a proclaimed offender was concerned, it needed to be noticed that operation of said order declaring the petitioner as proclaimed offender had already been stayed by this Court by an Order dated August 17,2021 wherein the validity of said proclamation order had been challenged. 

The Bench added that it was not in dispute that the petitioner was nowhere in picture when the accident had taken place and apparently cannot be held liable for commission of offence under Section 304 IPC. 

The petitioner, from the facts which were brought to the notice of this Court could, at best, be held responsible for having masterminded the destruction of the pick-up van, which was case property and material evidence and could even have been forfeited. The said offences would attract penal provisions of Section 201 or 206 IPC, which in any case, are bailable offences, noted the Court.

The Court went on to add that though, the petitioner may also be held liable for rest of the offences with the aid of Section 120 IPC but the same would be a matter to be decided when the entire evidence is led before the Trial Court.Thus, considering it to be a fit case for grant of anticipatory bail, the Court ordered that the petitioner in the event of his arrest shall be released on bail subject to his furnishing personal bonds and surety bonds to the satisfaction of Arresting/Investigating Officer. However, the petitioner shall join the investigation as and when called upon to do so and cooperate with the Arresting/Investigating Officer and shall also abide by the conditions as provided under Section 438 (2) Cr.P.C.

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