Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: Siddharth, J. allowed an application for anticipatory bail filed on behalf of applicants in relation to an FIR registered under Sections- 504, 506, 384, 467, 468, 120-B Penal Code, 1860.

Applicant 1 (58 years), the applicants 2 and 3 are the sons and the applicant 4 is the daughter of applicant 1 and the applicant no 2 and 4 are the directors of several companies situated at Agra. The applicants 5 and 7 are the employees of said company and applicant 6 was earlier director of complainant’s company. Huge amount has been paid to the opposite party 3, who is director of Vastu Colonisers (P) Ltd., having its office at Jaipur through the Pink City Infrastructure (P) Ltd., for providing the land of 380 bighas at Jaipur for the development of Township and the colonies. However, till date only 80 bighas of land has been provided and the money has not been returned to the applicant’s company through the Pink City Infrastructure (P) Ltd.

Pink City Infrastructure (P) Ltd., thus lodged an FIR against the opposite party 4 and other persons at Agra which had been registered as FIR 0508 of 2021 on 11-12-2021 at Police Station in Agra, under Sections- 120-B, 406, 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC as they had cheated the applicant’s company and not provided the land as agreed therefore, as a counter blast FIR 444 of 2022 has been lodged by the opposite party 3 against the applicants and several other persons only to create pressure upon them to appear the court at Jaipur.

Counsel for the applicants has submitted that the FIR has been lodged at the Police Station- Mansarovar, Jaipur City (South), Rajasthan and the applicants are the residents of District — Agra in the State of U.P. They are willing to appear before the court concerned at Jaipur, Rajasthan for the purpose of getting bail. However, they may be granted transit anticipatory bail for short time so that they may appear before the competent court at Jaipur under limited protection granted by this court by way of time bound transit anticipatory bail.

Additional Government Advocate has opposed the prayer made on behalf of the counsels for the applicants and has submitted that this Court has no jurisdiction to grant any protection to the applicants. The offence has taken place outside the state.

The Court after listening to the parties found that there is no legislation or law which defines ‘transit or anticipatory bail’ in definitive or specific terms. The term ‘transit’ means the act of being moved from one place to another while the word ‘anticipatory bail’ means a temporary release of any accused person who is anticipating arrest, therefore, transit anticipatory bail refers to bail granted to any person who is apprehending arrest by police of a State other than the State he is presently located in.

The Court further explained that transit anticipatory bail is different from ordinary bail. Ordinary bail is granted after arrest, releasing the accused from custody while anticipatory bail is granted in the anticipation of arrest i.e., it precedes detention of the accused and is effective immediately at the time of the arrest. The Court further emphasized on the fact that transit bail is protection from arrest for a certain definite period as granted by the Court granting such transit bail. The mere fact that an accused has been granted transit bail, does not means that the regular court, under whose jurisdiction the case would fall, would extend such transit bail and would convert such transit bail into anticipatory bail. Upon the grant of transit bail, the accused person, who has been granted such transit bail, has to apply for anticipatory bail before the regular court.

The Court further relied on the decision of the Bombay High Court in Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State of Maharashtra, 2014 SCC OnLine Bom 4819 where it was held that the High Court of one State can grant transit bail in respect of a case registered within the jurisdiction of another High Court in exercise of power under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In appeal the Supreme Court had declined to interfere with the said order (Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State of Maharashtra, 2014 SCC OnLine Bom 4819).

The Court consequently held that there is no fetter on the part of the High Court in granting a transit anticipatory bail to enable the applicants to approach the Courts including High Courts where the offence is alleged to have been committed and the case is registered. The Court allowed the application finding that there are commercial transaction ensued between the applicants and the complainant and there are criminal cases lodged by the parties against each other and that it is a fit case where the applicants should get the privilege of transit pre-arrest bail.

[Amita Garg v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 463, decided on 06-07-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Ram Kishore Pandey, Ajay Kumar Bashist Singh, Advocates, Counsel for the Applicant;

G.A., Advocate, Counsel for the Opposite Party.

*Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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