Read Order: Kevin Sushant v. State Of Haryana

LE Staff

Chandigarh, September 10, 2021:  While dismissing the petition filed under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C., seeking anticipatory bail relating to an FIR registered under various sections of the IPC, Passports Act, 1967 and Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has opined that the petitioner is not at parity with the co-accused as in those cases two attempts were not made for getting a passport and co-accused were not having criminal antecedents.

Herein, during the verification of three passports, it was found that the same mobile number was mentioned in three applications. An enquiry was held to unearth the scam. The allegations against the petitioner were that he in collusion with Deepak Puri and Monu Sachdeva got prepared two fake passports by giving two different addresses. Co-accused Deepak Puri was arrested and he made a disclosure statement.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that that the petitioner was a victim of the trap laid down by the travel agent. The petitioner had not filled the forms and he never received the two passports. It was further submitted that similarly situated victims were granted anticipatory bail by this Court.

The counsel for the State distinguished the present case from the ones of the co-accused, who were granted anticipatory bail. The petitioner had criminal antecedents as he was involved in four more cases including one under Section 302 of the IPC.

It was also argued that the petitioner had an original passport in which address of Mohali was given. It was only with an intent to flee the country while being on bail that an attempt was made by first applying the passport by giving an address of a specific house and ward number in Tohana but  after its rejection, a second attempt was made by producing an Aadhaar Card of a different house and ward number in Tohana.

Regarding this, the petitioner’s counsel mentioned that out of four cases, in two cases the petitioner was acquitted and in third case a fine of Rs.100/- was imposed.

The Court made it clear that the scope of enquiry initiated on detection of three passports received for verification, widened as new facts and evidence were revealed during the enquiry. The contention that the petitioner was a victim and never received two passports would be considered at the stage of Trial.

According to the Bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan, the fact remained that the petitioner had a passport in which address of Mohali was given. In spite of that, two passports were applied in his name giving two different addresses. As these applications were rejected hence there was no question of getting these passports.

The involvement of the petitioner in other FIRs is an indicator of his antecedents. A deeper probe is required. The petitioner is not at parity with the co-accused who have been granted anticipatory bail. In those cases two attempts were not made for getting a passport and co-accused were not having criminal antecedents, noted the Bench.

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