Read Order: Rajbhupinder Singh @ Sewak v. State of Punjab

LE Staff

Chandigarh, September 7, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has dismissed  a petition seeking benefit of regular bail to the petitioner and observed that once, the delay is attributed to the accused, the benefit of the same cannot be given to the accused so as to claim the concession of regular bail by contending that incarceration period is more than four years.

This second petition was filed under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C for the grant of regular bail to the petitioner pertaining to an FIR registered under various sections of the IPC , Arms Act and the Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes Act, 1989, at Police Station Jhunir, District Mansa. The earlier petition filed by the petitioner seeking the same relief was disposed of by a Coordinate Bench.

It was argued from the petitioner’s side that the petitioner had been in custody for more than four years and, therefore, as the trial was likely to take some time before it concluded, hence, on the basis of the incarceration already suffered by the petitioner, he be granted the benefit of regular bail.

The complainant, however, opposed the bail on the ground that that this Court in the earlier petition filed by the petitioner for the grant of regular bail while passing the order directed that the trial should be expedited and completed at the earliest, whereas, the order passed by the trial Court summoning the accused on an application preferred under Section 319 CPC, the accused who had been summoned, had approached this Court and got interim order and on the basis of said interim order, the proceedings of the trial Court became stand still as the trial Court had been directed by this Court to adjourn the case beyond the date fixed by this Court in the said petition therefore, the delay, which had occurred in completing the trial was attributable to the accused and not to the complainant.

The Bench of Justice Harsimran Singh Sethi observed that the plea of the petitioner for the grant of bail on merits was considered by this Court earlier while passing an order on November 2,2020 but, the Court did not find the petitioner entitled for the grant of benefit of regular bail and only a direction was issued to the trial Court to expedite and complete the trial at the earliest.

The circumstances had not changed much since then except the fact that the Trial Court had summoned the additional accused while allowing application under Section 319,CPC. The trial has been at stand still, as the order summoning the accused while allowing application filed under Section 319,CPC has been pending scrutiny before this Court and trial has not progressed because of the interim order passed by this Court on the asking of accused persons, noted the Bench.

Deciding the matter, the Bench opined that neither the Trial Court nor the complainant was causing delay in finishing the trial rather the same, prima facie, was attributable to the accused, who had been summoned now.

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