Read Order: Sajan v. State of Punjab 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 29, 2022: While observing that the absence of the NDPS case accused appeared to be unintentional, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asserted that if the accused showed his sincere intention and desire to appear before the Court, then it would not be unjustified to protect him from being arrested.  

Through this petition, before the Bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill, the petitioner seeks anticipatory bail in an FIR registered against him under Section 22 of the NDPS Act and Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 at Police Station B-Division, District Amritsar. To this FIR, Sections 18 and 21 of the NDPS Act (added later on). 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner was initially granted the concession of bail by the trial Court and that he was continuously appearing before the Court below but due to his ill health, he could not appear at one hearing. Resultantly, on the same day, his bail/surety bonds were cancelled and forfeited to State and non-bailable warrants of arrest were issued. 

Further, it was submitted that the petitioner was hospitalized for a period of six days and his non-appearance before the Court below was not intentional and that, now, proclamation proceedings under Section 82 Cr.P.C. were initiated against him. It was also contended by the Counsel that the petitioner was again ready to appear before the Court below to face the trial and also to furnish fresh bail/surety bonds. 

After taking into account the factual situation as also the case advanced by the petitioner’s counsel, the Court opined that the objective of the coercive mechanism prescribed under the Code of Criminal Procedure is to ensure that the accused remains present before the Court to receive the orders and judgments as are passed qua the accused. 

Further, the Court observed that the petitioner was not required for any investigation or interrogation purposes and rather, he was only to face the trial. Therefore, Justice Gill was of the opinion that no useful purpose would be served by sending the petitioner behind the bars. 

Thus, keeping in view the above fact, but without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the present petition was disposed of with a direction to the petitioner to surrender before the trial Court/Duty Magistrate, within 10 days from today, subject to him depositing the costs of Rs.10,000/- with the concerned District Legal Services Authority. 

“On his doing so, the petitioner shall be released on anticipatory bail, subject to him furnishing the fresh bail/surety bonds to the satisfaction of the trial Court/Duty Magistrate”, held the Court. 

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