Thursday, February 2, 2023

Supreme Court to hear PIL challenging Bombay HC on Monday

The witnesses have taken the specific name of the applicant about the illegalities and irregularities committed by the applicant in the affairs of the Corporation.

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ILNS: The Supreme Court will hear on Monday, a petition filed by a man challenging the Bombay High Court order, which dismissed his bail application, stating that the amount involved in the crime is huge and that there is strong prima facie case against him.

A bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit and KM Joseph will hear the matter on Monday.

The Bombay High Court had dismissed the bail application filed by the accused for committing offence under Section 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) read with Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

Before the High Court, the Counsel for the accused had submitted that the entire investigation is over and the charge sheet has been submitted and there cannot be any occasion for the applicant/accused to tamper with the prosecution evidence or witnesses. He said he is languishing in jail since January 1, 2018 and the trial is not proceeding at all.

The Counsel further mentioned that in view of provisions of Section 437(6) of the CrPC, the applicant should be released on bail, if the trial of the criminal case is not concluded by the trial court within a period of 60 days from the first date fixed for recording evidence.

The case against the accused was mainly that he, along with other co-accused, disbursed loan/seed money to various beneficiaries in breach of the directions and norms framed by the Corporation. It was vehemently argued by the APP/Counsel for the State of Maharashtra that the accused and other co-accused persons also destroyed the evidence of Crime, thereby causing huge loss to the Corporation to the tune of Rs 3,66,40,494, which is the public money.

He further submitted that the applicant has played an active role in the crime, since he has managed to process and sanction so many loan proposals of his near and dear ones through his wife and relatives.

The witnesses have taken the specific name of the applicant about the illegalities and irregularities committed by the applicant in the affairs of the Corporation.

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“The provisions of Section 437(6) of the Code are not mandatory in nature and the accused does not get the absolute right to be released on bail, if the period of 60 days expires from the first date of recording evidence and trial is not concluded within the said period,”

-the High Court had observed.

The Bench said,

“The co-accused persons came to be arrested in connection with the present crime subsequently and since the supplementary charge sheet came to be submitted against them, the Judge of the trial court has rightly framed charge against them. It is thus beyond control of the trial court to proceed with the trial in absence of the vital documents, so also to commence with the trial only against the applicant, ignoring the other accused persons. In view of above, I do not think that the applicant is entitled to be released on bail in terms of the provisions of Section 437 (6) of CrPC.”

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