Read Order: Satish Kumar v. Puneet Sood

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, June 23, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the petitioner to travel to Canada to meet his children after his application for travelling abroad was rejected by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ferozepur on account the fact that the proceedings of the complaint case wherein he was made an accused were stayed by the High Court.

The petitioner was availing the benefit of anticipatory bail and the Court which granted him the said bail, required him to obtain prior permission before going out of India.

The Bench of Justice G S Sandhawalia however, added while granting the above-mentioned relief,”The interest of the respondent can also be protected by asking the petitioner to furnish a fixed deposit receipt of Rs.4 lakhs in favour of the concerned Court, which would be valid for a period of three months. The same will be returned to the petitioner on his arrival from Canada. Liberty is also given to the respondent to file an appropriate application, if any such condition is violated.”

The instant petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. was filed for quashing the order whereby the petitioner’s application to leave the country from June 08, 2022 to July 15, 2022 was declined. The reasoning by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ferozepur was that on account of the orders of the High Court,  proceedings in the case were stayed. 

The petitioner was accused in the complaint case filed under Section 452, 387, 323, 506, 148, 149 IPC by the respondent. The third accused (Chief Executive Officer, Cantonment Board, Ferozepur Cantt.) had approached the Court in the said case and got the stay of further proceedings.

In the application filed for anticipatory bail by the petitioner, by a 2016 order he was directed not to leave India without the permission of the Court while being granted the said benefit of anticipatory bail from the Addl.Sessions Judge. 

The charges were framed in 2019 under Sections 452, 506 IPC, but in view of the stay obtained by the co-accused, the matter came to a standstill.

The ground for going abroad was that the petitioner’s children were living in Canada for the last 4 years. It was submitted that he has six years of service and he was working as Sub-Divisional Engineer at Ferozepur Cantt. It also mentioned that an FIR was also lodged by the CBI, Chandigarh under Sections 420, 468, 471 read with 120-B IPC and under Sections 13 (2) read with Section 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and there was a closure report against him. 

The petition was opposed by the respondent/complainant stating that there were 3 more criminal complaints apart from the FIR as already referred to by the petitioner. 

The petitioner filed a counter affidavit specifying therein that closure report was submitted before the CBI Court on the first date itself and the said order was also placed on record which is still stated to be pending. In the counter affidavit it was mentioned that in the 3 complaints, he was not summoned. 

It was further mentioned that the petitioner re-booked his tickets and rescheduled his travel from June 22, 2022 to July 15, 2022 and he undertook to return to India on July 15, 2022. It was also mentioned that he did not meet his children for the last 4 years and there was no flight risk to reach a conclusion that the petitioner will abscond or evade the process of law. 

Further it was added that since the petitioner was in Government service and in case he does not return from Canada, appropriate steps can be taken to retain his retiral benefits. 

It was submitted that he applied for ex-India leave and the same was sanctioned. 

Keeping in view the above, since the proceedings were stayed in the criminal complaint and in the other three cases he was not summoned, whereas there was a closure report in the FIR of May 2016, the Court was of the considered opinion that sufficient cause was made out for travelling abroad to meet his children.

The interest of the respondent can also be protected by asking the petitioner to furnish a fixed deposit receipt of Rs.4 lakhs in favour of the concerned Court, which would be valid for a period of three months. The same will be returned to the petitioner on his arrival from Canada. Liberty is also given to the respondent to file an appropriate application, if any such condition is violated”, asserted Justice Sandhawalia.

With this, the present petition was allowed and the petitioner was permitted to travel abroad on fulfilling the above conditions.

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