Saturday, September 23, 2023

Allahabad High Court grants anticipatory bail to cheating accused

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The Allahabad High Court has granted conditional anticipatory bail to Arun Mishra, who is accused of cheating and criminal conspiracy.

A Single Bench of Justice Raj Beer Singh passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by Arun Mishra @ Arun Kumar Mishra.

The application has been moved seeking anticipatory bail in case under Sections 420, 406 and 120B IPC, PS Indirapuram, District Ghaziabad, with the prayer that in the event of arrest, applicant may be released on bail.

It has been argued by the counsel for the applicant that the applicant is innocent and he has an apprehension that he may be arrested in the above-mentioned case, whereas there is no credible evidence against him.

It has further been submitted that applicant has no criminal antecedents and that no coercive process has been issued against the applicant so far.

As per prosecution version, the alleged agreement for sale was entered into between co-accused Vikram Upadhyay and first informant for sale of property of co-accused Vikram Upadhyay.

Counsel for the applicant also submitted that the first informant has not paid the sale amount in terms of the agreement and thus, co-accused Vikram Upadhyay has sold his property to some third party. The allegation against the applicant is that he has merely introduced the buyer and seller and except that there is no allegation against the applicant at all. The applicant is neither a beneficiary nor has he participated in the process of execution of sale-deed, executed by the co-accused Vikram Upadhyay.

Counsel for the applicant said that earlier applicant and co-accused Vikram Upadhyay have filed an application under Section 482 CrPC before the Court and later on the parties have arrived at the settlement, wherein, Rs 32 lakh was to be paid to the opposite party no 2 within one year.

Counsel further said that in fact the said amount was to be paid by co-accused Vikram Upadhyay as the property was sold by him.

The Court noted,

Counsel has also referred to the statement of Nitin Tiwari, who is an independent witness, wherein no role has been assigned to the applicant. It is submitted that the matter in dispute is purely civil in nature and that no prima facie case is made out against the applicant. The applicant undertakes to co-operate during investigation and trial and he would appear as and when required by the investigating agency or Court. It has been stated that in case, the applicant is granted anticipatory bail, he shall not misuse the liberty of bail and will cooperate during investigation and would obey all conditions of bail.

Additional Government Advocate and Counsel for first informant have opposed the application for anticipatory bail. Counsel for the first informant has argued that applicant has played main role in sale of the property of co-accused Vikram Upadhyay to third party, whereas the said co-accused Vikram Upadhyay has agreed to sell that property to the informant and amount of Rs 23,50,000 was paid to co-accused Vikram Upadhyay by the informant.

Counsel further submitted that in proceedings of application under Section 482 CrPC, it was submitted that on behalf of applicant and co-accused Vikram Upadhayay before the Court that both the parties have arrived at settlement and they have to pay Rs 32 lakh to the first informant within a year in four installments of Rs 8 lakh each but they have not paid any amount to the first informant. It was also submitted that due to non-compliance of said undertaking the interim said relief granted to applicant and co-accused against arrest, was withdrawn by that Court. It has been submitted that in view of conduct of the applicant, the applicant is not entitled to be enlarged on anticipatory bail.

The Court held that it may be stated that in case of Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v State of Maharashtra, (2011) 1 SCC 694, it has been held by the Supreme Court that while deciding anticipatory bail, Court must consider nature and gravity of accusation, antecedent of accused, possibility of accused to flee from justice and that Court must evaluate entire available material against the accused carefully and that the exact role of the accused has also to be taken into consideration.

“In the case, considering the settled principles of law regarding anticipatory bail, submissions of the counsel for the parties, nature of accusation, role of applicant and all attending facts and circumstances of the case, without expressing any opinion on merit of the case, a case for anticipatory bail is made out,” the Court observed while allowing the anticipatory bail application.

The Court ordered that,

In the event of arrest of the applicant Arun Mishra @ Arun Kumar Mishra in the aforesaid case crime, he shall be released on anticipatory bail on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with two sureties each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the Station House Officer of the police station concerned/Court below concerned with the following conditions:-

(i) the applicant shall make himself available for interrogation by the police as and when required;

(ii) the applicant 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/her/them from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer;

(iii) the applicant would cooperate during investigation and trial and would not misuse the liberty of bail.

In default of any of the conditions, the Investigating Officer / prosecution shall be at liberty to file appropriate application for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the applicant.

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