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whether the appellant herein has made out a case for regular bail- the appellant is ordered to be released on bail on executing a bond with two solvent sureties, each in a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs to the 19


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(Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No. 8995 of 2011)

Dipak Shubhashchandra Mehta ….





C.B.I. & Anr. …. Respondent(s)


1) Leave granted.


2) This appeal is directed against the judgment and order


dated 20.10.2011 passed by the High Court of Gujarat at


Ahmedabad in Criminal Misc. Application No. 14224 of 2011


whereby the High Court rejected the application for regular


bail filed by the appellant herein.



3) Brief facts:
(a) The appellant herein is the Joint Managing Director of


Vishal Exports Overseas Ltd., a Public Limited Company


(hereinafter referred to as “the Company”) incorporated in the


year 1988 as a partnership firm which was converted into a


Public Limited Company in 1995 under the provisions of


Chapter IX of the Companies Act, 1956. The Company is


engaged in the business of import and export of diverse


commodities including agricultural products and diamonds.


According to the appellant, the Company was a Government of


India recognized Four Star Trading House with a turnover of


about Rs.3935 crores in the year 2005-2006. It is also his


claim that the Company has been accredited with many


awards and was ranked 1st in India under the merchant


exporter category in the years 2003-04 and 2005-06.


(b) Due to non-payment of advances from various banks,


complaints were filed against the Company as well as the


promoters and Directors. The FIRs filed by various banks are:


(i) In the year 2008, Punjab National Bank lodged an FIR


with CBI bearing No. RC-I(E)/2008/BSFC, Mumbai. In the

said case, only Pradip Shubhashchandra Mehta (A-3) was


arrested. Remand was not granted by the Special CBI Court


at Ahmedabad and bail was granted within a span of one day.


The appellant herein was not arrested in this case and formal


bail was granted to him on filing charge sheet.


(ii) In the year 2009, UCO Bank lodged an FIR with the CBI


bearing No. RC 12(E)/2009 in which charge sheet was


submitted on 15.11.2010 and the appellant was arrested on


1.11.2010 and was released on temporary bail for various




(iii) Vijaya Bank had also lodged an FIR with the CBI bearing


No. RC11(E)/2008 and submitted charge sheet on 26.06.2010


in which the appellant herein was arrested after filing of the


charge sheet, he was also granted bail.


(iv) State Bank of Hyderabad has also lodged an FIR and the


same is under investigation. No charge sheet has been


submitted so far.


(c) State Bank of India and 17 other banks filed O.A. No. 11


of 2008 before the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Ahmedabad


seeking recovery of amount given by way of credit facilities

under consortium arrangement to the Company. Ad-interim


orders have been passed on 28.02.2008 to secure the interest


of the banks and to ensure that the litigation does not become


meaningless by the time final order is passed.


(d) On 19.01.2010, the appellant herein filed Civil Suit No.


145 of 2010 seeking damages to the tune of Rs.786 crores


against the informant Andhra Bank and other banks before


the Ahmedabad City Civil Court. The Andhra Bank, Zonal


Office, Mumbai also lodged an FIR on 19.01.2010 which was


registered by the CBI BS & FC/MUM bearing No. 1(E)/2010


for commission of offences punishable under Sections 406,


420, 467, 468, 471 read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal


Code, 1860 (in short `IPC’). In connection with the said FIR,


the appellant herein was arrested on 31.03.2010 and


remanded to police custody till 03.04.2010 and thereafter in


the judicial custody. The appellant was granted temporary


bail on three occasions on medical ground. After completing


the investigation, the CBI submitted charge sheet on


10.06.2010 in which the appellant was arrayed as accused



(e) On 31.08.2010, the appellant preferred an application for


bail after charge sheet was filed before the Special Court vide


Criminal Misc. Application No. 141 of 2010 but the same was




(f) Being aggrieved by the said order, the appellant filed


Criminal Misc. Application No. 11415 of 2010 before the High


Court for regular bail in connection with the FIR lodged by


Andhra Bank, Zonal Office Mumbai bearing No. 1(E)/2010


which was dismissed by the High Court on 19.10.2010.


(g) After investigation in RC.12(E)/2009 lodged by UCO


Bank charge sheet was submitted on 15.11.2010 and the


appellant was arrested on 01.11.2010 and he was released on


temporary bail.


(h) Against the order dated 19.10.2010 passed by the High


Court, the appellant filed S.L.P.(Crl.)No. 83 of 2011 before this


Court and the same was disposed of on 29.04.2011 directing


the special Court to take all endeavour for an early completion


of the trial.


(i) As there was no progress in the trial, the CBI filed a


supplementary charge sheet on 02.02.2011 which was served

on all the accused including the appellant herein only on


02.08.2011. Since the trial did not come to an end, the


appellant filed Criminal Misc. Application No. 195 of 2011 for


regular bail before the Special Court. In the meanwhile,


Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, vide order dated


15.09.2011 in Misc. Application No. 17/2011 in Spl. Case No.


03/2010 granted temporary bail up to 20.10.2011 to the


appellant herein on the ground of medical exigencies. Again on


19.10.2011, considering the health of the appellant, the


Special Court extended the temporary bail till 30.11.2011.


Vide order dated 27.09.2011, Special Court rejected the


application for regular bail filed by the appellant herein.


(j) The appellant filed an application being Criminal Misc.


Application No. 14224 of 2011 before the High Court for


regular bail but the same was rejected. Again the said


application, the appellant has filed the above appeal by way of


special leave before this Court.


4) Heard Mr. Mukul Rohtagi, learned senior counsel for the


appellant and Mr. P.P. Malhotra, learned Addl. Solicitor


General for the CBI.

5) The only point for consideration in this appeal is whether


the appellant herein has made out a case for regular bail and


whether the High Court is justified in dismissing his bail




6) We are conscious of the fact that this Court should not


ordinarily, save in exceptional cases, interfere with the orders


granting/refusing bail by the High Court. We are also


provided with the facts and figures about the appellant’s


involvement in similar other proceedings. In the case on


hand, out of four accused, A-1 is the Company and the


appellant-A-4 is the Joint Managing Director of the Company.


It is not in dispute that A-2 and A-3 were granted bail by the


High Court on medical grounds. Mr. Rohtagi, learned senior


counsel for the appellant apart from highlighting that the


appellant-A-4 is entitled for regular bail and also submitted


that he be considered on medical grounds because of his


various ailments as certified by leading doctors including the


Medical Officer, Central Jail Dispensary, Ahmedabad.


7) Insofar as the merits of the claim of the appellant is


considered, it is useful to refer the recent decision of this

Court in Sanjay Chandra vs. Central Bureau of
Investigation, 2012 (1) SCC 40. Since in this decision, all the
earlier decisions of this Court relating to grant of bail in a


matter of this nature have been considered, we feel that no


other earlier decisions need be referred to. Those appeals were


directed against the common judgment and order of the


learned Single Judge of the High Court of Delhi dated


23.05.2001 in Sanjay Chandra vs. CBI by which the learned


Single Judge refused to grant bail to the appellant-accused


therein. The allegations against those accused appellants


were that they entered into a criminal conspiracy for providing


telecom services to otherwise ineligible companies and by their


conduct, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)


suffered huge loss. The learned Special Judge, CBI, New Delhi


rejected the bail applications filed by them by order dated


20.04.2011. The appellants therein moved applications before


the High Court under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal


Procedure, 1973. The same came to be rejected by the learned


Single Judge by his order dated 23.05.2011. Aggrieved by the


same, the appellants approached this Court by filing appeals.

8) After considering the entire materials, arguments of the


various senior counsel as well as the Addl. Solicitor General


for the CBI and marshalling the earlier decisions of this Court


and after finding that the trial may take considerable time and


the appellants who are in jail have to remain in jail longer


than the period of detention had they been convicted and also


keeping in mind the fact that the accused are charged with


economic offences of huge magnitude, ultimately this Court


granted bail to all the appellants by imposing severe




9) It is also relevant to refer the order passed by this Court


on 29.04.2011 in SLP (Criminal) No. 83 of 2011 filed by the


appellant herein earlier. This Court directed as under:


“We have considered the rival contentions and also perused

all the relevant documents. In view of the fact that the other

two accused, namely, A-2 and A-3 were released mainly on

the ground of illness and old age and of the assurance by the

learned Additional Solicitor General that the trial will be

completed within a period of three months, we are not

inclined to accede to the request of the petitioner. However,

we make it clear that for any reason if the trial continues

beyond the period assured by the learned Additional Solicitor

General, the petitioner is free to move bail application before

the Special Court. In such event the Special Court is

permitted to consider it in accordance with law. We also

direct the Special Court to take all endeavour for an early

completion of the trial as suggested by the learned Additional

Solicitor General.



10) Though on the last date of hearing, learned Addl.


Solicitor General assured this Court that the trial will be


completed within a period of three months, in view of various


reasons considering the magnitude of the issues involved,


frequent absence of the accused at the hearing dates due to


various reasons including health grounds, filing of petition for


discharge and also the pressure of work on the Special Court


hearing among other important matters, the fact remains that


the trial could not be concluded. In fact, it is pointed out that


though the prosecution has submitted charge sheet the


charges have not been framed due to various reasons as


mentioned above.


11) We have already pointed out that insofar as the present


case is concerned among the four accused A-1 is a Company,


A-2 and A-3 were granted bail on medical grounds. According


to the present appellant i.e A-4, he was arrested on


31.03.2010 by the CBI and was remanded to police custody


for three days. Since 03.04.2010, he is in the judicial custody


at Sabarmati Central Jail, Ahmedabad and on 15.09.2011, he


was granted interim bail up to 20.10.2011 and again on

19.10.2011, considering his health conditions, the Special


Court extended his interim bail till 30.11.2011. As stated


earlier, the CBI has completed the investigation and submitted


the charge sheet on 10.06.2010 and the offences alleged in the


charge sheet are of the years 2006 and 2007.


12) Mr. Rohtagi, learned senior counsel, after taking us


through various proceedings by the Civil Court as well as DRT


under SARFESI Act submitted that entire properties of the


appellant and their companies/firms were attached by the


orders of the Court/Tribunal. According to him, before


entering into transaction with the banks, all those properties


have been mortgaged and as on date, the appellant cannot do


anything with those properties without the permission of the


Court/Tribunal. In such circumstances, he submitted that


there will not be any difficulty in realising the money payable


to the banks, if any. In addition to the above factual


information, it was pointed out that after the order of this


Court, on 29.04.2011 there is no progress in the trial. It is


also pointed out that the trial has not even commenced


inasmuch as a supplementary charge sheet has been served

upon the appellant herein only on 02.08.2011. It is further


pointed out that the charge has not been framed till this date.


It is also brought to our notice that prosecution has relied


upon 286 documents and listed 47 witnesses in the charge


sheets filed by it.


13) In addition to the above information, Mr. Rohtagi has


also pointed out that at the time of arrest of the appellant on


31.03.2010, he was taken to the hospital and was diagnosed


for hypertension and acidity. According to him, no other


ailment was noted by the hospital in the discharge card.


While so, when he was in custody since 31.03.2010, the


appellant has suffered 40 per cent permanent partial disability


in his left arm as a result of surgery for abnormal bone


protrusion. It is also highlighted that on account of


uncontrolled high blood pressure while in custody the


appellant has suffered 30 per cent blindness in his right eye


and has undergone a surgery for vitreous hemorrhage. It is


further pointed out that the hemorrhage having re-occurred,


the doctors have advised a second surgery to save his eyes.


However, according to him, the said surgery could not be

performed due to continuing uncontrolled high blood pressure


and resultant recurring bleeding in the vessel even after first


surgery. It is also pointed out that after passing of order by


this Court on 29.04.2011, the appellant while in custody has


contracted obstructive jaundice requiring long intensive


treatment. As a result of such obstructive jaundice, the


appellant is also unable to undergo other required surgeries.


Learned senior counsel has also pointed out that the appellant


is now suffering from further disability of loss of hearing which


can be corrected only through surgery. In support of the


above claim, various certificates issued by doctors of private


hospitals have been placed on record. In addition to the same,


Mr. Rohtagi by drawing our attention to the certificate dated


07.08.2011 issued by the Central Prison Hospital, Sabarmati,


Ahmedabad stated that even according to the Medical officer of


the Central Jail Dispensary, the appellant is suffering from


various ailments as mentioned in the certificate which reads


as under:



“OUT NO. ACJD/346/2011



Date : 07.08.2011




This is to certify that Mr. Dipak Shubhash Mehta is an

under trial prisoner of Central Jail, Ahmedabad with

prisoner NO. 4077.


He complains of continuous precordial chest pain

dullache like heaviness in chest, Gabharaman, giddiness,

chronic Rt. Hypochondriach pain in abdomen, bleeding P/R.

dimness of vision Rt. Eye vision deviation of Rt. Eye outward

since 1 -1/2 years.


Patient is a known case of uncontrolled blood pressure

since 4 years, chronic obstructive jaundice since 6 months

and fissure in anno with piles. Patient was sent to eye dept.

Civil Hospital Ahmedabad on 02.02.2011, seen by Dr. K.P.S.

(Ophthalmic Surgical Unit) and diagnosed as Rt. Eye

glaucoma, 3rd nerve palsy in Rt. Eye with vitreous

hemorrhage, macular degeneration and percentage of

blindness is 30%. CT report suggests Fatty replacement of

belly and distal tendinous insertion of superectus muscle on

Rt. Side.


On 25.03.2011, patient was operated for vitreous

hemorrhage in private hospital even though, on 17.06.2011

eye examination found fresh vitreous hemorrhage present

due to uncontrolled blood pressure and chronic obstructive



On 27.09.2010, patient was sent to U.M. Mehta

Institute of Cardiology & Research Centre for further

investigation and treatment where his Echocardiography was

done and report suggests Normal LV side and fair LV

function reduced LV compliance and 55%.


On 08.01.2011, patient was operated for tardy ulner

nerve paresis. It forearm and neurolysis done of Lt. ulner

nerve and advised regular physiotherapy. Dated 26.02.2011

CDMO, Govt. General Hospital, Sola certified that patient is



a case of physically disabled and has 40% permanent

physical impairment in relation to his Lt. upper limb.

Patient needs to be under continuous observation

under treating doctor and follow up. He is advised to avoid

physical and mental stress to prevent any serious



This certificate is issued on the basis of available case

records at Central Jail Dispensary.

Date: 07.08.2011

Place: Ahmedabad Central Jail


Medical Officer

Central Jail Dispensary,




14) Apart from the above certificate, the very same Medical


Officer, Central Jail Dispensary, Ahmedabad has issued


another Certificate on 08.09.2011. In the said Certificate,


after reiterating the very same complaints finally he concluded


“he needs treatment from the Specialist, Super Specialist,


Cardiologist and Gastroenterologist & Ophthalmologist for his


multiple problems”.


15) The above information by a Medical Officer of the Central


Jail Dispensary, Ahmedabad supports the claim of the


appellant about his health condition. No doubt, Mr. P.P.


Malhotra, learned ASG by drawing our attention to various


details from the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the CBI



submitted that in view of magnitude of the financial


involvement by the appellant with the nationalised banks, it is


not advisable to enlarge him on bail.


16) We have gone through all the details mentioned in the


counter affidavit of the Senior Superintendent of Police, CBI,


and Bank Securities and Fraud Cell, Mumbai. The appellant


has also filed rejoinder affidavit repudiating those factual


details. At this juncture, it is unnecessary to go into further


details. In the earlier order, we have noted the assurance of


the ASG for completion of the case within three months.


Admittedly, the same was not fulfilled due to various reasons.


It is also not in dispute that though the charge sheet and


additional charge sheet were submitted to the Court, the same


have not been approved and framed. In the meanwhile, apart


from absence of some of the accused on various dates, due to


some reasons or other including medical grounds, the


appellant herein has also filed a petition for `discharge’.


Further, even in the counter affidavit filed by the CBI, it is


stated that the accused persons moved applications under


Section 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for

discharge and the same are pending for hearing and disposal


and further the Madhao Merchantile Bank case is going on


day-to-day basis before the Special CBI Court and in addition


to the same, Sohrabuddin Fake Encounter case is also


pending for trial before the same Court. It is clear that the


said Special CBI Court is over burdened and in view of the


voluminous materials the prosecution has collected,


undoubtedly the trial may take a longer time.


17) This Court has taken the view that when there is a delay


in the trial, bail should be granted to the accused. [Vide
Babba vs. State of Maharashtra, (2005) 11 SCC 569, Vivek
Kumar vs. State of U.P., (2000) 9 SCC 443.] But the same
should not be applied to all cases mechanically.


18) The Court granting bail should exercise its discretion in a


judicious manner and not as a matter of course. Though at


the stage of granting bail, a detailed examination of evidence


and elaborate documentation of the merits of the case need


not be undertaken, there is a need to indicate in such orders


reasons for prima facie concluding why bail was being granted,


particularly, where the accused is charged of having

committed a serious offence. The Court granting bail has to


consider, among other circumstances, the factors such as a)


the nature of accusation and severity of punishment in case of


conviction and the nature of supporting evidence; b)


reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witness or


apprehension of threat to the complainant and; c) prima facie


satisfaction of the court in support of the charge. In addition


to the same, the Court while considering a petition for grant of


bail in a non-bailable offence apart from the seriousness of the


offence, likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice and


tampering with the prosecution witnesses, have to be noted.


Considering the present scenario and there is no possibility of


commencement of trial in the near future and also of the fact


that the appellant is in custody from 31.03.2010, except the


period of interim bail, i.e. from 15.09.2011 to 30.11.2011, we


hold that it is not a fit case to fix any outer limit taking note of


the materials collected by the prosecution. This Court has


repeatedly held that when the undertrial prisoners are


detained in jail custody to an indefinite period, Article 21 of


the Constitution is violated. As posed in the Sanjay

Chandra’s case (supra) we are also asking the same question
i.e. whether the speedy trial is possible in the present case for


the reasons mentioned above.


19) As observed earlier, we are conscious of the fact that the


present appellant along with the others are charged with


economic offences of huge magnitude. At the same time, we


cannot lose sight of the fact that though the Investigating


Agency has completed the investigation and submitted the


charge sheet including additional charge sheet, the fact


remains that the necessary charges have not been framed,


therefore, the presence of the appellant in custody may not be


necessary for further investigation. In view of the same,


considering the health condition as supported by the


documents including the certificate of the Medical Officer,


Central Jail Dispensary, we are of the view that the appellant


is entitled to an order of bail pending trial on stringent


conditions in order to safe guard the interest of the CBI.


20) In the light of what is stated above, the appellant is


ordered to be released on bail on executing a bond with two


solvent sureties, each in a sum of Rs. 5 lakhs to the

satisfaction of the Special Judge, CBI, Ahmedabad on the


following conditions:


i) the appellant shall not directly or indirectly make


any inducement, threat or promise to any person


acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade


him to disclose such facts to the Court or to any other




ii) the appellant shall remain present before the Court


on the dates fixed for hearing of the case, for any reason


due to unavoidable circumstances for remaining absent


he has to give intimation to the Court and also to the


concerned officer of CBI and make a proper application


that he may be permitted to be present through counsel;


iii) the appellant shall surrender his passport, if any, if


not already surrendered and in case if he is not a holder


of the same, he shall file an affidavit;


iv) In case he has already surrendered the Passport


before the Special Judge, CBI, that fact should be


supported by an affidavit.



v) liberty is given to the CBI to make an appropriate


application for modification/recalling the present order


passed by us, if the appellant violates any of the


conditions imposed by this Court.


21) The appeal is disposed of on the above terms.













FEBRUARY 10, 2012.





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