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Punjab & Haryana High Court Stays Arrest Of Proclaimed Offender, Says His Approaching The Court On Own Establishes His Bonafide

Drishti Yadav
21 May 2022 7:30 AM GMT
Provision Of Factories Act, 1948 Not In Substitution Of Any Other Act But Supplemental To The Same, It Does Not Override IPC: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Image: Ganesh Sariki

The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently stayed the arrest of a man, who was declared a proclaimed offender by the trial Court, while directing him to surrender before the Court with a stipulation that he shall be released on bail on the same day, subject to furnishing bail bonds and other appropriate additional conditions.

The peculiar order was passed in light of the fact that the proclaimed offender had himself approached the Court, in a petition under section 482 of CrPC, challenging the order of proclamation.

"The primary object of service is to secure the accused's presence in trial. The petitioner has approached this court on its own, which establishes the bonafide at this stage," Justice Anoop Chitkara said.

Thus, without adjudicating the explanation offered and stand taken by the petitioner, the court, in the exercise of its inherent powers, ordered that the arrest of proclaimed offender shall remain stayed till July 30, 2022, by which time he shall surrender before the concerned court, and on appearance, the concerned court shall release him on bail subject to apposite conditions.

"However, if the petitioner fails to appear within the time stipulated above, then stay on arrest shall stand vacated without any further reference to this court. It is clarified that if the petitioner appears before the concerned court, then all warrants issued by the concerned court against the petitioner, in the matter mentioned above shall stand recalled and cancelled," it added.

In the instant case, the accused was booked for offences under Section 406 (Criminal breach of trust) and 420 (Cheating) IPC, maximum sentence imposable for which does not exceed seven years.. He could not be served through the ordinary process of summons, bailable warrants, and non-bailable warrants so the concerned court finally proceeded against him under section 82 of CrPC and declared him a proclaimed offender.

During the hearing, the Court also took note of the directions passed in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar, (2014) 8 SCC 273, where Supreme Court directed all the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to arrest the accused automatically when the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.

It also referred to State of Rajasthan v. Balchand, AIR 1977 SC 2447, where the Supreme Court illustrated that the basic rule might perhaps be tersely put as bail, not jail, except where there are circumstances suggestive of fleeing from justice or thwarting the course of justice.

In the present case, the Court opined that the possibility of the accused henceforth not attending the trial, and the likelihood of fleeing justice, can be taken care of by imposing elaborative and stringent conditions.

Thus it ordered:

"The petitioner shall surrender before the concerned court on or before July 30, 2022. On appearance, the concerned court shall release the petitioner on bail on the same day, subject to furnishing bail bonds to its satisfaction and imposing additional conditions, as it may deem appropriate in the background of the accused's conduct.

There shall be a stay of the petitioner's arrest in the case mentioned above until July 30, 2022; however, if the petitioner fails to appear within the time stipulated above, then stay on arrest shall stand vacated without any further reference to this court.
On or before July 30, 2022, the petitioner shall procure a smartphone and inform its IMEI number and other details to the SHO/I.O. of the Police station mentioned before. The petitioner shall always keep the phone location/GPS on the "ON" mode. Whenever the Investigating officer asks to share the location, the petitioner shall immediately do so.
The petitioner shall neither clear the location history, WhatsApp chats, calls nor format the phone without permission of the concerned SHO/I.O. This condition shall continue till the completion of the trial or closure of case, whatever is earlier.

Case Title: Surjit Singh Dhaliwal Versus State of Punjab and another

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 110

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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