Read Judgment: Devadassan V. Second Class Executive Magistrate, Ramanathapuram & Ors. 

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, March 10, 2022: Finding that the bond executed u/s 110 r/w/s 117 CrPC had been violated by the offender on account of his involvement in a criminal case, registered subsequently, the Supreme Court has held that the personal liberty of the citizens can be dealt with by following the procedure established by law, and hence, the action taken by the Executive Magistrate of sending the offender to custody due to violation of the bond as per the mandate of law, cannot be assailed. 

A Division Bench of Justice A.K Maheshwari and Justice Indira Banerjee observed that the Legislature introduced Chapter VIII in CrPC conferring powers on the authorities to take action for violation of peace and tranquility in public order by the citizens of the locality, otherwise, by following the procedure as prescribed, the action may be taken by the competent authority. 

Going by the background of the case, the Second Class Executive Magistrate (first respondent) and the Madras High Court found Devadassan (appellant) guilty for breach of the conditions of bond and punished him in exercise of power u/s 122(1)(b) of CrPC. The orders indicated that the appellant was indulged in criminal activities, however, the first respondent after notice and affording opportunity, passed order u/s 117 r/w/s 110(e) CrPC. In compliance, the appellant executed a bond to maintain good behavior and peace for a period of one year and also undertook to pay Rs. 50,000/- as penalty to the Government in case of breach or else face the proceedings u/s 122(1)(b) of CrPC. 

However, even on execution of bond, he was found involved in an offence of commission of murder, registered by Uchipuli Police Station u/s 147/148/342/302 r/w/s 109/120(B) IPC. Accordingly, the first respondent found him guilty for breach of bond and ordered his arrest and sent him to custody. The said order was affirmed by the High Court. 

After considering the submissions, the Top Court noted that Chapter VIII of CrPC confer powers to the Executive Magistrate to take bond for maintaining security and for keeping the peace and good behaviour by the citizens. 

As per Section 107 CrPC, on receiving the information, that any person is likely to commit a breach of peace or disturb the public tranquility or to do any wrongful act, the Executive Magistrate may have power to show cause on violation of the terms of the bond so executed for maintaining peace, added the Court. 

Speaking for the Bench, Justice Maheshwari noted that, to take security for good behaviour from suspected persons and habitual offenders, powers u/s 109 & 110 CrPC have been conferred upon the Executive Magistrate.

In the present case, the order was passed u/s 111 and 117 CrPC for security and on violation, recourse, specified u/s 122 CrPC was permissible, added the Bench. 

Hence, the Apex Court dismissed the appeal and refused to interfere with the order of the High Court.

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