The Calcutta High Court has recently modified an order issued by the concerned Magistrate in proceedings initiated under Section 110 of the CrPC by underscoring that onerous conditions cannot be put in proceedings requiring execution of bond for good behaviour.
Justice Jay Sengupta was adjudicating upon a plea challenging proceedings under Section 110 of the CrPC wherein vide order dated February 16, 2022 the concerned Executive Magistrate had directed the petitioner to submit show-cause as to why he shall not be bound down for good behaviour bond under Section 110 of CrPC and should furnish an amount of Rs. 1,00,000 each with 'two reputed Gazetted Officers' as sureties for his good behaviour for such period not exceeding three years.
Challenging such a direction, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner is an ordinary man and it is not possible to have a Gazetted Officer to stand as a surety for him. Furthermore, it was argued that it is difficult for him to find out a Gazetted Officer of repute because that is a subjective description.
On the contrary, the counsel appearing for the State submitted that the petitioner is an accused in several cases some under the N.D.P.S Act and some under the Indian Penal Code. The Court was further apprised that the petitioner is a habitual offender and that he needs to be bound down to certain stringent conditions. It was also argued that the concerned Executive Magistrate was not in error in requiring two Gazetted Officers to stand a surety from him.
Pursuant to the rival submissions, the Court observed,
"It is a settled law that such onerous condition cannot be put either in an order granting bail or in a proceeding requiring execution of bond for good behaviour that cannot be fulfilled by the person on whom such direction is passed."
Reliance was placed on the Calcutta High Court judgment in Dipu Singh vs. State of West Bengal in this regard. Opining further that the condition imposed by the concerned Executive Magistrate is onerous and thus cannot be sustained, the Court held,
"More than that the condition imposed by the learned Executive Magistrate is suffers from lack of clarity. It is not clear what is the meaning by using the term "reputed Gazetted Officer", as if some Gazetted Officers may not be much repute. Therefore, the onerous condition imposed by the learned Executive Magistrate cannot be sustained."
Accordingly, the Court modified the impugned order to the following extent- "The petitioner shall appear before the learned Executive Magistrate on a subsequent date to be fixed by the learned Magistrate, which will be within a month from the date of communication of this order, and submit show-cause as to why he shall not be bound down with good behaviour bond under Section 110 of the Code for an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- each with two local sureties for his good behaviour for such period, not exceeding three years, as the learned Magistrate would think fit."
Case Title: Kashinath Dey @ Kashi v. The State of West Bengal
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 215