Sunday, 24 January 2021

Supreme court:A criminal court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant

 By imposing the condition of deposit of Rs. 41 lakhs, the High Court has, in

an application for pre-arrest bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure

Code, virtually issued directions in the nature of recovery in a civil suit.

5. It is well settled by a plethora of decisions of this Court that criminal

proceedings are not for realization of disputed dues. It is open to a Court to

grant or refuse the prayer for anticipatory bail, depending on the facts and

circumstances of the particular case. The factors to be taken into

consideration, while considering an application for bail are the nature of

accusation and the severity of the punishment in the case of conviction and

the nature of the materials relied upon by the prosecution; reasonable

apprehension of tampering with the witnesses or apprehension of threat to

the complainant or the witnesses; reasonable possibility of securing the

presence of the accused at the time of trial or the likelihood of his

abscondence; character behaviour and standing of the accused; and the

circumstances which are peculiar or the accused and larger interest of the

public or the State and similar other considerations. A criminal court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant, and that too, without any trial.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

Criminal Appeal No.53 of 2021


Dilip Singh  Vs  State of Madhya Pradesh 

Dated: January 19, 2021


O R D E R

1 Leave granted.

2 This appeal is against an order dated 11 September 2019 passed by the High

Court granting anticipatory bail to the appellant, subject to the condition of

deposit of Rs 41 lakhs in court and upon his furnishing personal bond in the

sum of Rs 50,000 with one solvent surety in the like amount to the

satisfaction of the arresting officer. It was directed that the order would be

governed by condition Nos 1 to 3 of sub-Section 2 of Section 438 of the Code

of Criminal Procedure. The trial court was directed to deposit the amount so

deposited by the appellant with any nationalized bank.

3 Ex facie, the disputes in the instant case are civil in nature. It is the

contention of the complainant that despite having paid Rs 41 lakhs to the appellant pursuant to an agreement for purchase of agricultural land, the appellant has not executed the deed of sale in respect of the same. It appears that the complainant has also filed a civil suit for specific performance of the said agreement, which is pending adjudication.

4 By imposing the condition of deposit of Rs. 41 lakhs, the High Court has, in

an application for pre-arrest bail under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure

Code, virtually issued directions in the nature of recovery in a civil suit.

5. It is well settled by a plethora of decisions of this Court that criminal

proceedings are not for realization of disputed dues. It is open to a Court to

grant or refuse the prayer for anticipatory bail, depending on the facts and

circumstances of the particular case. The factors to be taken into

consideration, while considering an application for bail are the nature of

accusation and the severity of the punishment in the case of conviction and

the nature of the materials relied upon by the prosecution; reasonable

apprehension of tampering with the witnesses or apprehension of threat to

the complainant or the witnesses; reasonable possibility of securing the

presence of the accused at the time of trial or the likelihood of his

abscondence; character behaviour and standing of the accused; and the

circumstances which are peculiar or the accused and larger interest of the

public or the State and similar other considerations. A criminal court,

exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as

a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant, and that too,

without any trial.

6 We accordingly modify the order impugned before us by deleting the

direction to deposit Rs 41 lakhs as directed by the High Court. Needless to

mention, the grant of anticipatory bail shall be governed by the conditions in

Section 438(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


7 The appeal is accordingly disposed of.

8 Pending applications, if any, stand disposed of.

….....…...….......………………........J.

[Indira Banerjee]

..…....…........……………….…........J.

[Sanjiv Khanna]

New Delhi;

January 19, 2021


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