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Precedents cannot be applied universally to every case: Allahabad High Court

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application while observing that, every judgement has to be seen to its own context and facts and the precedents cannot be applied universally to every case.

A Single Bench of Justice Krishan Pahal passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc anticipatory bail application filed by Lakhan Singh and Another.

The anticipatory bail application has been filed on behalf of the applicants, Lakhan Singh and Dinesh, in FIR/Case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 386, 120B, 504, 506, 409, 34 of IPC, Police Station- Shamshabad, District- Agra, with a prayer to enlarge them on anticipatory bail.

As per prosecution story, the informant is a farmer by profession and he is even involved in the cultivation of agricultural land of his brother-in-law Lokendra Singh and gets the benefit thereon. He also sows the land of other persons on contract. The informant is stated to have placed 713 bags of potatoes of his own and 1018 bags of potatoes of his brother-in-law Lokendra Singh in the cold storage owned by Bhagwan Singh and his family members.

The main accused Bhagwan Singh, in collusion with the applicants, is stated to have been running the said cold storage without licence and they all are stated to have refused to return the said potatoes and the bags thereof to the informant. The applicants and other co-accused persons are stated to have illegally sold the said potatoes thereby defrauding the informant. The informant is stated to be having receipts of the said deposition of the potato bags.

Counsel for the applicants has stated that the applicants have been falsely implicated in the case. The informant is the maternal uncle of Ravi Parihar son of Lokendra Singh who has registered another FIR against the applicants on almost identical allegations.

Counsel has further stated that the FIR has been instituted against the applicants out of vengeance and the allegations in both the FIRs are in-verbatim of each other. The FIR is hit by Section 300 CrPC as the applicants have been put to double jeopardy by the said FIR. He has further stated that the complainant at the instance of his nephew and brother-in-law has lodged this false and frivolous FIR.

Counsel has also placed much reliance upon an application sent by Lokendra Singh, brother-in-law of the informant to the Regional Manager of Canara Bank on 23.6.2020 wherein it has been stated that he is residing at Thane in Maharashtra and, as such, he is unable to come to the State of U.P owing to lockdown imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

He has further stated that the money being procured from the farmer by Bhagwan Singh may be deposited in the account for the payment of the CC Limit.

He has also stated that there is no whispering of the said letter in the instant FIR lodged by the informant.

Counsel has further stated that the matter is a civil dispute between the two directors and the brother-in-law of the informant has filed a case before the Company Law Tribunal on 30.9.2021 and just to harass the applicants, absolutely vague allegations have been levelled against them.

The applicants have no concern whatsoever with the business transactions of the co- accused Bhagwan Singh as they live separately and they are not a beneficiary to the business transactions conducted by him. They have been falsely implicated owing to their relationship with the co-accused Bhagwan Singh.

Counsel has next relied upon another judgement of the Apex Court passed in T.T Antony etc Versus State of Kerala and Others, wherein it has categorically been stated that the second FIR with respect to the same offence is barred.

On the other hand, Kamlesh Kumar Dwivedi, counsel for the informant as well as Vibhav Anand Singh, AGA have vehemently opposed the prayer for anticipatory bail on the ground that the instant FIR is not barred by Section 300 of CrPC as the informant and the allegation of cheating are entirely different in both the FIRs and even in both FIRs, the time of offence is altogether different. The co-accused Gaurav and Banti @ Brijesh have not been granted anticipatory bail rather they have been released on regular bail.

It is also argued on behalf of the informant that the applicants have not come with clean hands as they have not disclosed their entire criminal history as the applicant no1 and applicant no 2 are having criminal history of 11 and 9 cases, respectively. The number of criminal antecedents of the applicants as disclosed by the counsel for the applicants which are 10 and 7, respectively, have also not been properly explained in the instant anticipatory bail application as no orders have been annexed thereon.

Counsels have further stated that the applicants are proclaimed offenders as the proceedings u/s 82/83 CrPC have been taken up against them.

In support of his submissions, counsel for the informant has relied upon the judgement of the Apex Court passed in Lavesh versus State (NCT of Delhi), wherein it has categorically been held that a proclaimed offender is not entitled to anticipatory bail as he has not cooperated with the investigation.

They have further argued that the applicants being proclaimed offenders and having long criminal antecedents, are not entitled for anticipatory bail. Granting anticipatory bail would defeat the object of Section 438 CrPC.

“Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case and upon hearing the counsel for the parties at length and also considering the judgements of the Apex Court referred above, this Court is of the view that first of all, the judgements of Upkar Singh (supra) and T.T Antony (supra) do not help the applicants at all as the said judgements are not applicable to the case wherein it has categorically been held that second FIR is not barred although, the said facts are different as it pertains to a cross-case.

So far as the applicability of the judgement of the Court passed in Suresh Babu (supra) in the case is concerned, the Court is of the view that the said judgement also does not help the applicants at all as the accused person in the said case had no criminal history and was a Government Servant and, thus, he was granted anticipatory bail.

Now, coming to the judgement of Lavesh (supra), the said case law holds good to-date and the applicants are proclaimed offenders as the proceedings u/s 82/83 CrPC are almost complete and also they are having criminal antecedents of 11 and 9 cases, respectively which has not been properly explained either.

Thus, every judgement has to be seen to its own context and facts and the precedents cannot be applied universally to every case.

In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, I am not inclined to grant anticipatory bail to the applicants”, the Court observed while rejecting the anticipatory bail application.

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