Supreme Court: Granting bail to Manoranjana Sinh, the accused in the infamous “Chit-fund scam” involving the Saradha Group of Companies, the Court said that the confinement of the appellant in judicial custody is not an indispensable necessity for the unhindered investigation in the case. The said order of the Court came in the light of the settled law that detention in custody of under-trial prisoners for an indefinite period amounts to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution, as highlighted in Sanjay Chandra vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2012) 1 SCC 40.

The bench of Arun Mishra and Amitava Ghosh, JJ, however, laid down the following conditions:

  • The appellant would surrender her passport to the Trial Court and would not leave the territorial limits of the city Kolkata without the written permission of the Trial Court and without informing the investigating agency.
  • She would report before the Trial Court and the investigating officer once a month, till the investigation in the case is completed in full.
  • She would not in any way hinder or try to influence the investigation in any manner whatsoever and would not endeavor to either tamper with any evidence or induce/influence/dissuade/intimidate any witness or deal with any record relevant to the case.
  • She would cooperate with the investigation and would always be available to be interrogated by the Investigating Agency.

Keeping it open for the Trail Court to lay down any other condition if and as and when necessary, the Court said that the breach or non-compliance of any of the above conditions would entail immediate cancellation of the bail granted, either suo motu or on any complaint made by any quarter whatsoever and would visit the appellant with stringent adverse consequences as contemplated in law. [Manoranjana Sinh v. CBI, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 96, decided on 06.02.2017]


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