Sunday, 16 June 2019

Whether accused can be released on bail conditional upon heavy deposits?

If the petitioner lacks funds, undertaking
ought not to have been given to the Court. Be
that as it may, it is well settled that bail
cannot be made conditional upon heavy deposits
beyond the financial capacity of an applicant for
bail.

S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s).5195-5196/2019

M.D. DHANAPAL Vs STATE REP. BY THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE 
Date : 11-06-2019 
CORAM :
HON'BLE MS. JUSTICE INDIRA BANERJEE
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE AJAY RASTOGI
(VACATION BENCH)



UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
These special leave petitions are against
the orders dated 30.04.2019 and 16.05.2019 passed
by the High Court of Madras (Madurai Bench) in
Crl.O.P.(MD) No.6462 of 2019 and Crl.M.P.(MD)

No.4654 of 2019 respectively.
On 21.04.2019, on the occasion of the
Chithra Pournami festival about seven pilgrims
were killed and 10 injured in a stampede outside
the temple of Lord Sri Vaalavaikkum Vandithurai
Karuppannasamy at Muthiyampalayam Village in
Tiruchirapalli District, Tamil Nadu.
By the impugned order dated 30.04.2019, the
High Court granted bail to the petitioner, M.D.
Dhanapal, the Chief Priest of Lord Sri
Vaalavaikkum Vandithurai Karuppannasamy Temple at
Muthiyampalayam Village, Thuraiyr Taluk,
Tiruchirapalli, who had been arrested pursuant to
an F.I.R. in connection with the accident, on
condition that he would pay Rs.10,00,000/-
(Rupees ten lakhs only) each by bank drafts in
the name of one of the family members/legal heirs
of each of the deceased pilgrims who had come to
the temple in connection with some of the temple
rituals and got killed in the stampede outside
the Temple. The petitioner is aggrieved by the
onerous condition of having to pay a total amount
of Rs.70,00,000/- (Rupees Seventy Lakhs only)
upfront, as a condition for bail.

The High Court cannot be faulted as from
the orders impugned it is patently clear that it
was the learned lawyer appearing on behalf of the
petitioner who had offered to pay Rs.10,00,000/-
(Rupees ten lakhs only) to the family
members/legal heirs of each of the deceased
pilgrims.
An application was also made for
modification of the order dated 30.04.2019
whereupon an order dated 16.05.2019 was passed,
extending the time to make the deposit by a
further period of three weeks. The said order is
also in question.
In this Court it is submitted that the
petitioner, who was rendering devotional services
in a relatively small Temple at Tiruchirapalli,
with little income does not have the requisite
funds.
If the petitioner lacks funds, undertaking
ought not to have been given to the Court. Be
that as it may, it is well settled that bail
cannot be made conditional upon heavy deposits
beyond the financial capacity of an applicant for
bail.

On a perusal of the F.I.R. lodged by the
Village Administrative Officer in Muthaiampalayam
Village, it appears that an accident took place
when “Pidikkas were being distributed on the
occasion of Chithira Pavurnami Festival”. The
petitioner was not even named in the F.I.R. From
the averments in the F.I.R., it does not appear
that the petitioner was responsible for the
death. There appears to have been suffocation due
to congestion and rush. Even otherwise, it does
not appear incarceration of the petitioner is
necessary for investigation or that the
petitioner will evade the process of law or
tamper with evidence if set at liberty.
We are also informed that the State
Government and the Central Government have paid
compensation of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh
only) and Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees two lakhs only)
respectively to the victims.
Having regard to the facts and
circumstances of the case and the allegations in
the F.I.R., we deem it appropriate to waive the
condition of payment to the family members/legal
heirs of the deceased victims for the purpose of

grant of bail. The concerned Judicial Magistrate
may grant bail on conditions as he may deem fit to
his satisfaction. We order accordingly.
The special leave petitions and pending
applications are accordingly disposed of.

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