Read Order: Sanjiv Vig v. State of Punjab 

LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 9, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has refused to grant anticipatory bail to an accused after finding that he misused the bail granted last time in 2016 and did not appear before the trial court following which he was declared a proclaimed offender. 

The bench of Justice Arun Kumar Tiyagi stated that in the present case the petitioner was granted interim anticipatory bail on January 29, 2016 and the same was made absolute by an order dated February 8, 2016 by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sangrur, Punjab. On his non-appearance, the petitioner was declared a proclaimed person on October 30, 2017. 

According to the bench, the petitioner was bound to appear before the trial court on the date fixed but he failed to do so and thereby misused the concession of bail.

The bench cited a Supreme Court case Manish Jain Vs. Haryana State Pollution Control Board decided on November 20, 2020 in which the Apex Court, while holding that the petitioner whose bail was cancelled because of non-appearance was not entitled to seek anticipatory bail, observed: 

A person released on bail is already in the constructive custody of law. If the law requires him to come back to custody for specified reasons, we are afraid that an application for anticipatory bail apprehending arrest will not lie. There cannot be an apprehension of arrest by a person already in the constructive custody of the law. We, therefore, reject the prayer for anticipatory bail.”

The HC bench thus said, “In view of the above referred judicial precedent and facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the considered view that the petitioner does not deserve grant of anticipatory bail and the present petition for grant of anticipatory bail is liable to be as being not maintainable”. 

“The present petition is dismissed and the petitioner is directed to surrender before the Trial Court within one week. Needless to observe that if on his surrender the petitioner files any application for grant of regular bail, the Trial Court shall dispose of the same expeditiously,” held the bench. 

Details of Case

These directions came after the petitioner Sanjiv Vig filed a plea for grant of anticipatory bail in connection with a FIR dated May 20, 2015 registered under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 in Police Station City Ahmedgarh, Sangrur, on a complaint of Kiranpal Singh who alleged that the petitioner and his co-accused Ramesh Vig, partners of firm M/s New Kissan Seed and Pesticides, Ludhiana had dishonestly sold inferior quality of paddy seed amounting to Rs.4,37,500 to him. 

The farmers who purchased the said deeds from him suffered loss and he paid the compensation amount to those farmers, the complainant claimed. When he asked the accused persons, they made a promise to return the amount to him but they did not pay the said amount and cheated him, said the complainant. 

Subsequent to his arrest during investigation, the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail by order dated February 8, 2016 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sangur on the basis of compromise effected between the petitioner and the complainant. 

On filing of chargesheet under Section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C., the petitioner did not appear before the Trial Court despite issuance of summons, bailable warrant of arrest, non-bailable warrant of arrest and publication of proclamation against him. Accordingly, the petitioner was declared proclaimed person vide order dated October 30, 2017. 

The petitioner then filed the present petition for grant of anticipatory bail expressing his apprehension of arrest for commission of non-bailable offence.

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