Uttaranchal High Court: “Whether cash can be deposited in lieu of surety bond for bail” was the issue decided by Alok Kumar Verma, J., in the present application filed by an accused of foreign nation.
The applicant was accused of offences punishable under Sections 420, 120-B of the Penal Code, 1860 Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946. The same application to deposit cash instead of bond to be released on bail was filed before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, which was rejected and same is challenged in the present peition.
However, the bail was granted under certain terms and conditions and one of such condition was “the applicant shall be released on bail on furnishing a bond with two sureties of like amount, one of whom must be a local surety, to the satisfaction of the court concerned”. The applicant has apprised the Court that the passport was deposited before the concerned Magistrate and because the applicant was a foreigner, he was unable to arrange sureties. Therefore, he offered to deposit cash amount in lieu of executing surety bond.
Counsel for the applicant Lalit Sharma, vehemently argued on the basis of Section 445 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 which states ‘Deposit instead of Recognizance’. Hence, it was contended that when the applicant was unable to provide surety because of his nationality, Section 445 of the Code will come into play. Therefore, the cash deposit must be allowed instead of surety and bail should be granted.
Held, “the applicant-accused is permitted to deposit the cash amount, a reasonable amount, to the satisfaction of the court concerned, in lieu of executing surety bonds”.[David Morrison v. State of Uttrakhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Utt 49, decided on 13-01-2021]
Aastha Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this story together