Read Order: Ashok Kumar v. State of Haryana

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 11, 2022: While dealing with the second anticipatory bail plea in a case wherein the petitioner-accused forged documents relating to his secondary education in order to get the benefit of a revised pay scale at his workplace, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that there was no change in the circumstances of the case much less any substantial change so as to take a different view than the one which was taken by the Court in the first application while dismissing the same.

Also, the Bench of Justice Vikas Bahl imposed a cost of Rs 50,000  on the petitioner for filing a second such application with different counsel without any change in the facts and circumstances of the case. The Court’s decision also took into consideration the fact that from the allegations levelled in the FIR, prima facie case was made out against the accused. 

The Court was dealing with the second petition under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. for the grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioner in respect of an FIR registered under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 IPC

Essentially, it was alleged in the FIR that the petitioner was working as a Work Supervisor and he submitted vague and forged documents in the department with respect to his secondary school examination mark sheet vide application, in order to get the benefit of a revised pay scale and thereafter, the pay scale of the petitioner was revised/changed by the Executive Engineer, PWD B&R, Gurugram. 

A complaint was made regarding the said fake mark sheet and the said secondary school examination mark sheet was sent to the Deputy Director, Regional Director, Regional Centre, Delhi and after due verification, a report from Deputy Director (Evaluation) was received. From the said verification, it became clear that the petitioner had submitted forged/fake mark sheets in the department vide his application and accordingly, the present FIR was registered. 

The petitioner filed an application before the Additional Sessions Judge, Gurugram for the grant of anticipatory bail to him, but the same was dismissed. Later, the High Court was approached with the same plea seeking the grant of anticipatory bail. 

The matter was argued and when the Court opined that it was not inclined to interfere in the matter, counsel for the petitioner, who filed the first anticipatory bail, in order to avoid a detailed adverse order on merits, sought permission of the Court to withdraw the said petition. 

After a period of one month from the passing of the said order, the present petition was filed through a different counsel. No subsequent event or change in circumstance, much less, a substantial change in circumstance was pointed out by counsel for the petitioner or averred in the present petition. 

Against this backdrop, the Court made reference to one of its earlier orders wherein it took note of the unfortunate tendency growing among unscrupulous litigants, of first, arguing the anticipatory bail application and when it surfaces that the Court is not inclined to grant the same, then withdrawing the same, in order to avoid the passing of an adverse order and thereafter, within few days, without any justification, again file a second anticipatory bail. 

Coming to the present case, the Court observed that after the order of the High Court passed in the first anticipatory bail plea, there was no change in circumstance, much less substantial change in circumstance, thus, on the said ground alone, the present petition deserved to be dismissed. 

Further, on the factual circumstance of the case, the Court observed that the petitioner by submitting forged documents had received benefits of a revised pay scale from the department and prima facie committed the offences mentioned in the FIR and thus he did not deserve the concession of anticipatory bail. 

Moreover, the Court opined that the custodial interrogation of the petitioner was required for recovering the original mark sheets and also to ascertain the involvement of other persons in the commission of the offence in the present case. 

Thus, it was held that even on merits, the present petition deserved to be dismissed. 

Also, the Court was of the considered opinion that the filing of a second anticipatory bail application, in the facts & circumstances detailed above, was an abuse of the process of the Court, thus, the petition was dismissed with costs of Rs.50,000/-. 

Thus, the Court concluded,  “In case, the petitioner does not deposit the said costs of Rs.50,000/- within the above said stipulated period and does not produce the receipt of the same before the Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram, then the Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram is directed to proceed against the petitioner for recovery of the said amount of Rs.50,000/- as arrears of land revenue.”

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