Read Order: Nanak Chand Tayal v. State of Haryana

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 14, 2022: In a case of embezzlement and cheating, where the Lower Court granted the benefit of regular bail to an accused while imposing an onerous condition of furnishing surety of Rs 100 crore, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Director Judicial Academy, Chandigarh to seek an explanation from the Judge concerned as to what interpretation of law or which judicial precedents did he rely upon to pass the impugned order. 

The Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan also directed the judicial officer concerned to go through at least 5 judgments of the High Court or of the Supreme Court on the subject matter and to furnish a paper in a timely manner for being circulated to all Judicial Officers in States of Haryana, Punjab and U.T., Chandigarh. 

On the object of bail and the imposition of such onerous conditions, the Court also held that the very purpose of granting bail to the petitioner was defeated due to the onerous condition laid down in the impugned order.

In this petition, a prayer was made for setting aside/ dispensing the condition imposed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Faridabad on the grant of bail to the petitioner in an FIR registered under Sections 420, 406, 120-B, 204 IPC and Section 3 of the Haryana Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment Act, 2013. Due to the onerous condition of furnishing surety of Rs 100 crore, the petitioner was incapable of fulfilling the condition despite the fact that he has been in custody since April 2018. 

The petitioner’s counsel argued that due to the non-fulfilment of the onerous bail condition imposed by the Court below, by its impugned order, the petitioner had been languishing in judicial custody for about 3 years and 10 months. The Counsel also submitted that the term, “any condition” as provided for under Section 439 of Cr.P.C., signify a reasonable condition looking into the facts and circumstances of the case, however, the condition of furnishing a surety by way of giving the details of immovable property/properties to the tune of Rs.100 crore, could not be termed as a reasonable condition. 

To support his case, the counsel relied upon the judgment of the Top Court in Dataram Singh vs State of U.P., 2018(3) SCC 22, wherein it was held by the Supreme Court that while granting the bail, such onerous condition should not be imposed, which will defeat the very purpose of granting the bail.

The Counsel for the State could not dispute the factual position, however, he submitted that the allegations against the petitioner and his firm were of embezzlement and cheating of a huge amount.  

After hearing the counsel for the parties and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, especially the fact that the petitioner was in custody since April, 2018 and even after the passage of the impugned order granting him regular bail, he had been still continuing in judicial custody for more than 3 years due to the non-fulfilment of the bail condition, the Court allowed the present petition. 

The petition was allowed to the extent that the condition laid down in the impugned order directing the petitioner to furnish the details/documents of immovable property/properties valuing Rs. 100 crore in lieu of personal bonds, was dispensed with. The petitioner was directed to be released on bail subject to furnishing 2 sureties/bonds to the satisfaction of the Trial Court. 

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