20 July 2023 11:45 AM GMT
The Punjab & Haryana High Court has granted bail to a man in a case alleging forgery of AAP MLA’s signature on sale deeds, on the ground that the mandatory requirement of giving notice before arrest under Section 41-A CrPC, as laid down in the Arnesh Kumar judgment, to the accused in cases where offences are punishable for seven years or less, was not complied with by the...
The Punjab & Haryana High Court has granted bail to a man in a case alleging forgery of AAP MLA’s signature on sale deeds, on the ground that the mandatory requirement of giving notice before arrest under Section 41-A CrPC, as laid down in the Arnesh Kumar judgment, to the accused in cases where offences are punishable for seven years or less, was not complied with by the Police.
According to Section 41-A CrPC, the police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 41 issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him or at such other place as may be specified in the notice.
And when such person complies and continues to comply with the notice, “he shall not be arrested in respect of the offence referred to in the notice unless, for reasons to be recorded, the police officer is of the opinion that he ought to be arrested”, according to the provision.
The bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh said, “In view of Satender Kumar's case, the investigating agency is duty bound to comply with the mandate of Sections 41 and 41-A Cr.P.C. The directions issued by the Hon'ble Apex Court in Arnesh Kumar's case are to be mandatorily complied with. The Court is required to satisfy itself on the compliance of Sections 41 and 41-A Cr.P.C. and non compliance would entitle the accused for grant of bail.”
Any dereliction on the part of the Investigating Agency is required to be brought to the notice of the higher authorities by the court followed by an appropriate action, the court said further. It was hearing a regular bail plea of Ram Baksh booked under Sections of 420, 465, 468, 471, 120-B IPC at Police Station Daba, District Ludhiana.
According to FIR, the complainant Jasminder Singh, patwari alleged that the Baksh came to him in the patwarkhana and handed over photocopies of five sale deeds for the purposes of entering mutations. The signature along with the stamp of Rajinderpal Kaur Chhenna, MLA, was present on the sale deeds.
The complainant allegedly went to the office of MLA to verify whether the signatures were genuine or not. The MLA told him that she never appended any signature on any photocopy of the sale deed nor affixed any stamp on any photocopy of the sale deed.
It was stated further that on inquiry, the complainant came to know that Maninder Kaur, who is working in the office of MLA, was instrumental in affixing the stamp of the MLA and putting the signature of MLA in connivance with Baksh.
The counsel representing the petitioner argued that the FIR has been registered in violation of principles laid down in Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar, 2014 (8) SCC 273 and Satender Kumar Antil vs. Central Bureau of Investigation, (2021) 10 SCC 773 as no notice was issued under Section 41-A CrPC.
It was also submitted that forgery is not relatable to him and that the police has not recorded the statement of the MLA so far.
On raising query to the State counsel in respect of issuance of notice to the petitioner in terms of mandate of Arnesh Kumar's case, the court noted that “the State counsel, on instructions from SI Daljeet Singh, submits that no notice was issued to the petitioner under Section 41-A Cr.P.C.”
“Evidently, no notice has been issued to the petitioner, therefore on the strength of the mandate given by the Apex Court in Arnesh Kumar's case and Satender Kumar's case, I deem it appropriate to grant regular bail to the petitioner,” said Justice Singh, while ordering release of accused on bail.
Case Title: Ram Baksh @ Ramu v. State of Punjab
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (PH) 132
Advocate Abhinav Gupta appeared for the petitioner.
Mr.I.P.S.Sabharwal for D.A.G.Punjab.
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