Punjab and Haryana High Court: While deciding the petition under Section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, a bench of Jagmohan Bansal, J., held that no prejudice will be caused to prosecution or complainant in granting bail to the accused-petitioner, if the accused is coming forward to face trial and is undertaking to appear before trial court on each and every date.
In the case at hand, the accused has challenged the order passed by Additional Sessions Judge cancelling the bail bonds furnished by the accused and non-bailable warrant of arrest issued against him.
The Court noted that intent of arrest and reason of denial of bail is to secure the appearance of the accused at the time of trial. A person who seeks to be liberated must comply with the judgment and serve sentence in the event of his conviction. The nature of the offence, severity of punishment prescribed, prime facie available evidence, history and background of the accused may indicate whether the amount of bond and surety is going to secure presence of accused, at the time of conviction.
The Court further stated that,
“The object of arrest is neither punitive nor preventive. Detention or arrest not only deprives a person from his fundamental right of personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution but also freedom guaranteed by Article 19(1). Life of every human being is a most precious gift of God and everyone has a very limited span of life which cannot be spoiled on account of incompetence, personal grudge, vengeance of someone or brutal, illegal, unethical action of the State machinery. Except habitual offender, commoners living simple life, after arrest lose self-respect and confidence within himself as well as State.”
The Court further noted that it has become very common to put criminal law in motion even though dispute is purely contractual or civil in nature. Many times, arrest entails deprivation of sources of income of entire family along with a forever stigma in a closely knit society like ours. There is no mechanism to compensate a man who is later found innocent and acquittal also does not return the valuable time, energy, status, future of family members lost on account of incarceration of bread earner of the family. Imprisonment before conviction is a sort of punishment especially when the rate of conviction in our country is abysmally low.
The Court asserted that the object of cancellation of bond or declaration of anyone as proclaimed offender is to secure his presence and since the petitioner has come forward to face trial and undertakes to appear before trial court on each and every date, his presence would meet ends of justice.
Therefore, the Court granted bail to the accused with directions to appear before Trial Court and furnish fresh bail bonds.
[Harinder Singh v. State of Punjab, CRM-M-51476-2022, decided on 24-11-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
C.S. Rana Advocate, Counsel for the Petitioner;
Digvijay Nagpal, Advocate, Counsel for the Respondent.