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Bail – Jail – Bail granted by High court in appeal stage – challenged by state – on the ground that 52 cases are pending – out it nearly out of them in 20 cases offences were registered against him before going to jail and during his stay in jail. 32 cases were registered after being released by this Court on conditional bail in August, 2001.- Apex court cancel bail orders and directed the High court to dispose the appeal with in one year = STATE OF MAHARASHTRA & ANR. … APPELLANTS VERSUS PAPPU @ SURESH BUDHARMAL KALANI … RESPONDENT = 2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41459

Bail – Jail – Bail granted by High court in appeal stage – challenged by state – on the ground that 52 cases are pending – out it nearly out of them in 20 cases offences were  registered against him before going to jail and during his stay in jail. 32 cases  were registered after being  released  by  this  Court  on  conditional  bail  in August, 2001.- Apex court cancel bail orders and directed the High court to dispose the appeal with in one year = 

 Aggrieved by the conviction and sentence passed by  the  trial  Court,

the respondent-accused preferred Criminal Appeal No.  1309  of  2013  before

the High Court. Considering his Criminal Application No. 1788 of  2013,  the

High Court enlarged him on bail by the order dated 7th March, 2014 which  is

impugned herein. Against the said order, the State preferred this appeal.=

 

   Normally, this Court does not exercise its jurisdiction under  Article

136 of the Constitution in interfering in the discretionary order passed  by

the High Court granting bail,  particularly  when  the  criminal  appeal  is

pending before it, but in our view, the reason given by the  High  Court  in

the present case, that the father and  wife  of  the  deceased  have  turned

hostile, cannot be a ground to grant bail. Apart from  these  witnesses  who

turned hostile, there was other material and witnesses available, which  the

High Court ought to have considered while  granting  bail.  The  High  Court

should not have ignored the fact that admittedly, the  accused  is  involved

in as many as 52 cases and out of them in 20 cases offences were  registered

against him before going to jail and during his stay in jail. 32 cases  were

registered after being  released  by  this  Court  on  conditional  bail  in

August, 2001.

15.   It is not in dispute that in spite of being acquitted in some  of  the

cases, still there are 15 cases  in  which  trial  is  pending  against  the

respondent, out of which two cases are under Sections 302  read  with  120B,

IPC.  In the present case also, initially along with charges under  Sections

302/120B, IPC offences punishable under TADA were also charged  against  the

respondent but later on the TADA charges were withdrawn. Though we  are  not

inclined to go into the matter in detail at  present  to  interfere  in  the

order passed by the High  Court,  taking  into  consideration  the  peculiar

facts and circumstances of the  case,  we  are  inclined  to  interfere  and

cancel the bail granted by the High Court.

16.   At the same time, we have considered some merit  in  the  argument  of

the learned counsel for the respondent-accused. It is not  in  dispute  that

the respondent-accused was arrested on 29-01-1993  after  registering  Crime

No. 89 of 1990 on  28-04-1990.  He  was  released  on  bail  on  07-08-2001.

Thereafter, again after judgment in the Sessions Case No. 218 of 1999 on 29-

11-2013, he was again taken into custody. After filing the  Criminal  Appeal

before the Bombay High Court on 30-07-2013, by the impugned order, the  High

Court granted bail to the respondent. There is no doubt that the  respondent

is in jail for almost 9 years. In consideration  of  the  arguments  of  the

learned counsel for the respondent that it will take a number of  years  for

the High Court to hear the appeal, we thought it fit  to  request  the  High

Court to dispose of the appeal  as  expeditiously  as  possible,  preferably

within a period of one year from today  on  its  own  merits  without  being

influenced by any of the views expressed by us in this order.

17.   Accordingly, we allow the appeal and set aside the impugned judgment.

2014 ( April.Part ) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41459

P SATHASIVAM, RANJAN GOGOI, N.V. RAMANA

NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. OF 2014
ARISING OUT OF
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL) No. 2375 of 2014

 

STATE OF MAHARASHTRA & ANR. … APPELLANTS

VERSUS

PAPPU @ SURESH BUDHARMAL KALANI … RESPONDENT

 

JUDGMENT

N.V. RAMANA, J.
Leave granted.
2. This appeal is filed by the State of Maharashtra against the order
passed by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay on 7th March, 2014 in
Criminal Application No. 1788 of 2013 in Criminal Appeal No. 1309 of 2013
whereby the High Court granted bail to the sole respondent.
3. The respondent was accused in Crime No. 89 of 1990 of the Vitthalwada
Police Station, Thane registered under Section 120(B) read with Section
302, IPC on the allegation of hatching criminal conspiracy in the killing
of the deceased Inder Bhatija. After completion of investigation, charge
sheet was filed against the respondent-accused and the trial Court by order
dated 29th November, 2013 convicted and sentenced him to undergo life
imprisonment and to pay fine of Rs.5,000/-, in default, to suffer rigorous
imprisonment for six months.
4. Aggrieved by the conviction and sentence passed by the trial Court,
the respondent-accused preferred Criminal Appeal No. 1309 of 2013 before
the High Court. Considering his Criminal Application No. 1788 of 2013, the
High Court enlarged him on bail by the order dated 7th March, 2014 which is
impugned herein. Against the said order, the State preferred this appeal.
5. When the matter came up before us on 12-03-2014, we issued notice and
directed that if the respondent-accused not being released pursuant to the
impugned order of the High Court till date, there shall be stay of the said
order.
6. Mr. Shankar Chillarge, learned counsel appearing for the State of
Maharashtra contended that the accused is involved in as many as 52 cases,
out of which in 20 cases offences were registered against him before going
to jail and while he was in jail. 32 cases were registered after being
released by this Court on conditional bail in August, 2001. He has given a
list of 52 cases where the respondent is accused. It is also contended that
in the present case, when the investigation was going on, it was found by
the police that the respondent was the mastermind behind the murder of the
deceased. The High Court, while granting bail to the accused, has not
considered any of the facts and circumstances and history of the
respondent. Simply relying upon the evidence of some of the witnesses, the
High Court granted bail without applying its mind. He also contended that
the grant of bail to the accused would adversely affect the trial and
investigation in other criminal cases pending against him and there is also
likelihood of tampering with the evidence. The respondent being a political
leader, there is every chance for influencing the pending criminal cases in
which very serious offences were charged against him and prayed for
cancellation of bail.
7. A Criminal Miscellaneous Petition No. 8543 of 2014 has been filed in
the present appeal by one Kamal Bathija who claims to be the brother of the
deceased Inder Bhatija, seeking leave of this Court to implead himself as
an appellant. Mr. Gopal Subramanium, learned senior counsel
appearing for the impleading party, supported the case of the State
Government and sought for cancellation of bail. He contended that the High
Court has not fully appreciated the facts and evidence before granting bail
to the accused. The High Court ignored the main fact that the respondent-
accused was the mastermind in hatching the criminal conspiracy for the
murder of the deceased by engaging habitual and professional killers. Above
all, during the pendency of trial in the present case, the respondent had
committed several other criminal offences and hence bail granted by the
High Court shall be cancelled.
8. On the other hand, Mr. Uday U. Lalit, learned senior counsel
appearing for the respondent-accused, while drawing our attention to a list
of cases in which the respondent was acquitted, contended that the
respondent has already spent 9 long years in jail during the pendency of
trial, and not even one witness supported the case of the prosecution, more
particularly, the crucial witnesses i.e. wife (PW 20) and father (PW 12) of
the deceased themselves have turned hostile and another crucial witness
i.e. PW 9—Driver has also turned hostile. Hence, taking into account these
facts, the High Court has rightly exercised its discretion in granting
bail. When the bail was granted after taking into consideration all the
facts and circumstances, material witnesses and particularly when there is
no prima facie evidence against the accused, the bail granted by the High
Court cannot be questioned.
9. Learned senior counsel further submitted that since the respondent is
a political leader, he was falsely implicated in the case so as to prevent
him in participating in active political life. Even in the list of cases
furnished by the appellant, out of total number of 52 cases against the
accused, 35 cases were ended in acquittal, 10 cases are purely politically
motivated, in around 13 cases the trial was pending, and in some cases the
State has falsely shown the name of respondent as accused and at present no
serious case is pending against the respondent where he was charged as
accused. Hence, there is no reason for this Court to interfere with the
order passed by the High Court.
10. It is also brought to our notice that the appeal is pending before
the High Court and as per the present roaster of the Bombay High Court, the
turn of the appeal filed by the respondent will come up for hearing after
fifteen years.
11. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and taking into
consideration the fact that the deceased was none other than the younger
brother of the applicant in Crl.M.P. No. 8543 of 2014 who prayed for
impleadment, we allow the application.
12. We have also considered the principles laid down by this Court while
cancelling bail, in Puran etc. etc. Vs. Rambilas & Anr. etc. etc. (2001) 6
SCC 338, Dr. Narendra K. Amin Vs. State of Gujarat & Anr. (2008) 13 SCC
584, Ash Mohammad Vs. Shiv Raj Singh @ Lalla Babu & Anr. (2012) 9 SCC 446
and Central Bureau of Investigation Vs. V. Vijay Sai Reddy (2013) 7 SCC
452.
13. The issue before us is whether it is necessary for this Court to
interfere with the order passed by the High Court granting bail to the
accused-respondent.
14. Normally, this Court does not exercise its jurisdiction under Article
136 of the Constitution in interfering in the discretionary order passed by
the High Court granting bail, particularly when the criminal appeal is
pending before it, but in our view, the reason given by the High Court in
the present case, that the father and wife of the deceased have turned
hostile, cannot be a ground to grant bail. Apart from these witnesses who
turned hostile, there was other material and witnesses available, which the
High Court ought to have considered while granting bail. The High Court
should not have ignored the fact that admittedly, the accused is involved
in as many as 52 cases and out of them in 20 cases offences were registered
against him before going to jail and during his stay in jail. 32 cases were
registered after being released by this Court on conditional bail in
August, 2001.
15. It is not in dispute that in spite of being acquitted in some of the
cases, still there are 15 cases in which trial is pending against the
respondent, out of which two cases are under Sections 302 read with 120B,
IPC. In the present case also, initially along with charges under Sections
302/120B, IPC offences punishable under TADA were also charged against the
respondent but later on the TADA charges were withdrawn. Though we are not
inclined to go into the matter in detail at present to interfere in the
order passed by the High Court, taking into consideration the peculiar
facts and circumstances of the case, we are inclined to interfere and
cancel the bail granted by the High Court.
16. At the same time, we have considered some merit in the argument of
the learned counsel for the respondent-accused. It is not in dispute that
the respondent-accused was arrested on 29-01-1993 after registering Crime
No. 89 of 1990 on 28-04-1990. He was released on bail on 07-08-2001.
Thereafter, again after judgment in the Sessions Case No. 218 of 1999 on 29-
11-2013, he was again taken into custody. After filing the Criminal Appeal
before the Bombay High Court on 30-07-2013, by the impugned order, the High
Court granted bail to the respondent. There is no doubt that the respondent
is in jail for almost 9 years. In consideration of the arguments of the
learned counsel for the respondent that it will take a number of years for
the High Court to hear the appeal, we thought it fit to request the High
Court to dispose of the appeal as expeditiously as possible, preferably
within a period of one year from today on its own merits without being
influenced by any of the views expressed by us in this order.
17. Accordingly, we allow the appeal and set aside the impugned judgment.
…………………………………CJI.
(P. SATHASIVAM)

 
……………………………………J.
(RANJAN GOGOI)
……………………………………J.
(N.V. RAMANA)
NEW DELHI,
APRIL 24, 2014
———————–
9

 

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