Saravanan vs State Rep. By The Inspector Of … on 15 October, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Saravanan vs State Rep. By The Inspector Of … on 15 October, 2020

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy, M.R. Shah

                                                                  REPORTABLE
                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                               CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 681­682          OF 2020
                         (Arising from S.L.P. (Criminal) Nos.4386­4387/2020)

         Saravanan                                                    …Appellant

                                           Versus

         State represented by the Inspector of Police …Respondent


                                                 JUDGM ENT


         M.R. SHAH, J.

Leave granted.

2. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned order

dated 24.06.2020 in Criminal O.P.(MD) No. 6214 of 2020 and

order dated 27.07.2020 in Criminal M.P.(MD) No. 3622 of 2020

passed by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, by

which the High Court has released the appellant on default

bail/statutory bail, on condition to deposit Rs.8,00,000/­

(Rupees Eight Lakhs only) to the credit of crime No. 31 of 2019
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
MEENAKSHI KOHLI

before the learned Judicial Magistrate, Court No.1, Nagercoil,
Date: 2020.10.15
16:30:19 IST
Reason:

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Kanyakumari District, the original accused has preferred the

present appeals.

3. That the appellant herein was arrested and remanded to the

judicial custody on 31.01.2020 for the offences punishable under

Section 420 of the IPC in Crime No.31 of 2019 on the file of the

D.C.B. Police Station, Kanyakumari District. That the appellant

herein filed an application before the learned Judicial Magistrate

seeking bail under Section 437 Cr.P.C. That the wife of the

appellant filed an affidavit before the learned Magistrate and

assured to pay Rs.7,00,000/­ (Rupees Seven Lakhs only) and the

balance amount to be paid on or before 06.04.2020, against the

alleged amount of Rs.15,67,338/­ (Rupees Fifteen lakhs Sixty

Seven thousand Three hundred thirty eight only). Therefore, by

order dated 3.2.2020, the learned Magistrate released the

appellant on bail on the conditions stated in the said order. One

of the conditions was directing the appellant to deposit

Rs.7,00,000/­ in the Court, and the balance amount of Rs.

8,67,338/­ was directed to be deposited on or before 06.04.2020.

4. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with condition nos. 2 and

3 of the order passed by the learned Magistrate releasing the

appellant on bail, i.e, directing the appellant to deposit

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Rs.7,00,000/­, out of the total alleged amount of Rs.15,67,338/­

and the balance to be deposited on or before 6.4.2020, the

appellant approached the High Court by way of Criminal OP(MD)

No. 6214 of 2020. The High Court dismissed the said application

with liberty to the appellant to approach the Magistrate Court for

any modification and observed that if any modification is

required, the same may be considered by the Magistrate. That

thereafter, the appellant filed an application before the learned

Sessions Court being Criminal M.P. No. 1695/2020 to release the

appellant on default bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2),

Cr.P.C. It was the case on behalf of the appellant that he was

arrested and remanded on 31.01.2020 and he is inside the jail

for more than 101 days and the investigation is not completed

and the police has not filed the final report within the period

provided under Section 167 Cr.P.C. The said application came to

be dismissed by the learned Sessions Court on the ground that

earlier when the appellant applied for regular bail and which was

allowed on condition to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­ in the Court and

the same has not been complied with, and despite the liberty

reserved by the High Court to approach the Magistrate Court for

modification of the conditions, instead of doing so, the appellant

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has filed an application for default bail/statutory bail under

Section 167(2), Cr.P.C., therefore, the learned Sessions Court

dismissed the said application.

5. Feeling aggrieved, the appellant approached the High Court

and prayed to release the appellant on default bail/statutory bail.

It was the case on behalf of the appellant that non­deposit of any

amount which was required to be deposited pursuant to the

order passed by the learned Magistrate, imposed while releasing

the appellant on regular bail under Section 437, Cr.P.C., shall

not come in the way of the appellant­accused in getting default

bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C. It was

submitted that the default bail/statutory bail under Section

167(2), Cr.P.C. is mandatory bail, provided the conditions in

Section 167 Cr.P.C. are satisfied, i.e., investigation is not

completed and the chargesheet/report is not filed by the

investigating agency within the time stipulated under Section 167

Cr.P.C. The High Court, by the impugned judgment and order

dated 24.06.2020 accepted the same, however, considering the

earlier undertaking given by the wife of the appellant in the Court

of the learned Magistrate while considering the regular bail

application under Section 437, Cr.P.C., i.e., to deposit

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Rs.7,00,000/­, while releasing the appellant on default

bail/statutory bail, the High Court has imposed the condition

that the appellant shall deposit a sum of Rs.8,00,000/­ before

the learned Magistrate. That thereafter, the appellant preferred

application being Criminal MP(MD) No. 3622 of 2020 before the

High Court to modify condition nos. (b) and (d) in Criminal

OP(MD) No. 6214/2020 by which the appellant was directed to

deposit Rs.8,00,000/­ before the learned Judicial Magistrate and

the appellant was directed to report before the concerned police

station daily at 10:00 a.m., until further orders, for interrogation.

By the impugned order dated 27.07.2020, the High Court has

dismissed the said application for modification observing that

earlier wife of the appellant filed affidavit before the learned

Magistrate to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­ and the alleged amount is

Rs.32,23,073/­, condition nos. (b) and (d) in order dated

24.06.2020 in Criminal OP(MD) No. 6214/2020 are not required

to be modified. Hence, the present appeals.

6. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant has

vehemently submitted that condition nos. (b) and (d) imposed by

the High Court imposed while releasing the appellant on default

bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C is contrary to the

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scheme of Section 167 of the Cr.P.C. It is submitted that as

observed by this Court in catena of decisions, the scheme of Code

of Criminal Procedure delineates that provisions of Section 167

Cr.P.C. give due regard to the personal liberty of a person.

Without submission of charge sheet within 60 days or 90 days,

as may be applicable, an accused cannot be detained by the

Police. The provision gives due recognition to the personal liberty.

It is submitted that as held by this Court in Rakesh Kumar Paul

v. State of Assam, (2017) 15 SCC 67, where investigation is not

completed within 60 days or 90 days, as the case may be, no

chargesheet is filed on the 60th or 90th day, accused applies for

default bail and is prepared to furnish bail, accused becomes

entitled to default bail, it cannot be frustrated either by the

prosecution or the Court. It is submitted that it is further held

that accused need not make out any grounds for grant of default

bail but only needs to state that 60/90 days, as the case may be,

have expired, chargesheet not filed, he is entitled to bail and

willing to furnish the same. It is submitted that therefore

condition nos. (b) and (d) imposed by the High Court while

releasing the appellant on default bail/statutory bail are against

the scheme of Section 167, Cr. P.C.

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6.1 It is submitted by the learned counsel appearing on behalf

of the appellant that affidavit filed by the wife of the appellant

before the learned Magistrate to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­ and the

earlier order passed by the learned Magistrate to release the

appellant on deposit of Rs.15, 67,338/­ was with respect to

regular bail under Section 437, Cr.P.C. and the same shall not

come in the way of the appellant in getting the default

bail/statutory bail, if a case is made out under Section 167(2),

Cr.P.C. It is submitted that, as such, and in fact the High Court

has accepted the same and has released the appellant on default

bail/statutory bail, however, with condition to deposit

Rs.8,00,000/­ on the ground that while considering the regular

bail application under Section 437, Cr.P.C., the wife of the

appellant agreed to and filed affidavit to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­. It

is submitted that condition to deposit Rs.8,00,000/­ while

releasing the appellant on default bail/statutory bail on the

aforesaid ground would defeat the very purpose of grant of

default bail/statutory bail. It is submitted that while considering

the default bail/statutory bail, the only thing which is required to

be considered and the statutory requirement is that the statutory

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period for filing the chargesheet or challan has expired and the

accused is prepared to furnish the bail.

6.2 Making the above submissions, it is prayed to allow the

present appeals and delete condition nos. (b) and (d) of order

dated 24.06.2020 passed by the High Court in Criminal OP(MD)

No. 6214 of 2020.

7. Mr. Jayanth Muthuraj, learned Additional Advocate General

appearing on behalf of the State has tried to support the

impugned order(s) passed by the High Court by submitting that

as earlier the wife of the appellant filed an affidavit before the

learned Magistrate to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­ and the alleged

amount was Rs.15,67,338/­, probably the High Court has

imposed condition no. (b) directing the appellant to deposit

Rs.8,00,000/­.

8. We have heard the learned counsel for the respective parties

at length.

The short question which is posed for the consideration of

this Court is, whether while releasing the appellant­accused on

default bail/statutory bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C., any

condition of deposit of amount as imposed by the High Court,

could have been imposed?

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9. Having heard the learned counsel for the respective parties

and considering the scheme and the object and purpose of

default bail/statutory bail, we are of the opinion that the High

Court has committed a grave error in imposing condition that the

appellant shall deposit a sum of Rs.8,00,000/­ while releasing

the appellant on default bail/statutory bail. It appears that the

High Court has imposed such a condition taking into

consideration the fact that earlier at the time of hearing of the

regular bail application, before the learned Magistrate, the wife of

the appellant filed an affidavit agreeing to deposit Rs.7,00,000/­.

However, as observed by this Court in catena of decisions and

more particularly in the case of Rakesh Kumar Paul (supra),

where the investigation is not completed within 60 days or 90

days, as the case may be, and no chargesheet is filed by 60 th or

90th day, accused gets an “indefeasible right” to default bail, and

the accused becomes entitled to default bail once the accused

applies for default bail and furnish bail. Therefore, the only

requirement for getting the default bail/statutory bail under

Section 167(2), Cr.P.C. is that the accused is in jail for more than

60 or 90 days, as the case may be, and within 60 or 90 days, as

the case may be, the investigation is not completed and no

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chargesheet is filed by 60th or 90th day and the accused applies

for default bail and is prepared to furnish bail. No other

condition of deposit of the alleged amount involved can be

imposed. Imposing such condition while releasing the accused on

default bail/statutory bail would frustrate the very object and

purpose of default bail under Section 167(2), Cr.P.C. As observed

by this Court in the case of Rakesh Kumar Paul (supra) and in

other decisions, the accused is entitled to default bail/statutory

bail, subject to the eventuality occurring in Section 167, Cr.P.C.,

namely, investigation is not completed within 60 days or 90 days,

as the case may be, and no chargesheet is filed by 60 th or 90th day

and the accused applies for default bail and is prepared to

furnish bail.

9.1 As observed hereinabove and even from the impugned

orders passed by the High Court, it appears that the High Court

while releasing the appellant on default bail/statutory bail has

imposed the condition to deposit Rs.8,00,000/­ taking into

consideration that earlier before the learned Magistrate and while

considering the regular bail application under Section 437

Cr.P.C., the wife of the accused filed an affidavit to deposit

Rs.7,00,000/­. That cannot be a ground to impose the condition

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to deposit the amount involved, while granting default

bail/statutory bail.

9.2. The circumstances while considering the regular bail

application under Section 437 Cr.P.C. are different, while

considering the application for default bail/statutory bail. Under

the circumstances, the condition imposed by the High Court to

deposit Rs.8,00,000/­, while releasing the appellant on default

bail/ statutory bail is unsustainable and deserves to be quashed

and set aside.

10. Now so far as condition no. (d) imposed by the High Court,

namely, directing the appellant to report before the concerned

police station daily at 10:00 a.m., until further orders, for

interrogation is concerned, the same is also unsustainable, as it

is too harsh. Instead, condition which can be imposed is

directing the appellant to cooperate with the investigating officer

in completing the investigation and to remain present before the

concerned police station for investigation/interrogation as and

when called for, and on breach the investigating officer can

approach the concerned court for cancellation of the bail on

breach of such condition.

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11. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the

present appeals succeed. Condition No. (b) of order dated

24.06.2020 passed by the High Court in Criminal OP(MD) No.

6214 of 2020, i.e., directing the appellant to deposit

Rs.8,00,000/­ to the credit of crime No. 31 of 2019 before the

learned Judicial Magistrate, Court No.1, Nagercoil, Kanyakumari

District, while releasing the appellant on default bail, is hereby

quashed and set aside. Condition no. (d), namely, directing the

appellant to report before the concerned police station at 10:00

a.m. daily, until further orders for interrogation is hereby

modified to the extent and it is directed that the appellant shall

co­operate with the investigating agency and shall report the

concerned police station as and when called for

investigation/interrogation and on non­cooperation, the

consequences including cancellation of the bail shall follow. Rest

of the conditions imposed by the High Court in order dated

24.06.2020 are maintained.

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13. The appeals are allowed accordingly in the aforesaid terms.

…………………………………..J.

[ASHOK BHUSHAN]

………………………………….J.

                                [R. SUBHASH REDDY]


NEW DELHI;                      ………………………………….J.
OCTOBER 15, 2020                [M.R. SHAH]




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