25 Aug 2021 3:01 PM GMT
"An anticipatory bail plea cannot be disposed off on the same day! The courts are to pass an order posting them after 4 weeks or whenever the court has time. And they have to give reasons for any ad-interim relief!", Justice DY Chandrachud has remarked on Wednesday."I have worked at the Allahabad High Court and there are 500 bail applications listed every day! Imagine, can you dispose off...
"An anticipatory bail plea cannot be disposed off on the same day! The courts are to pass an order posting them after 4 weeks or whenever the court has time. And they have to give reasons for any ad-interim relief!", Justice DY Chandrachud has remarked on Wednesday.
"I have worked at the Allahabad High Court and there are 500 bail applications listed every day! Imagine, can you dispose off 500 applications by oral directions? Gujarat is also a heavily populated state. What will happen to criminal justice if bail applications are disposed off by oral directions? It will lead to grave abuse of the system! All over the country, people will say that an oral direction has been passed!", continued the judge.
The bench of Justices Chandrachud and M. R. Shah was hearing an SLP against orders of the Gujarat High Court on a quashing plea in connection with an FIR arising out of a dispute between the partners of a partnership firm where the allegations are that some of the partners have taken undue advantage and siphoned away some amount as well as indulged in the falsification of documents.
In December last year, recording that senior advocates for the parties seek time for exploring the possibility of settlement, an oral direction was given by the High Court not to arrest the applicant before it. Subsequently, on March 9, the High Court recorded that advocate for the applicant has submitted that by order of December 23, 2020, oral direction was given not to arrest the applicant, and the Senior Advocate for the respondent-complainant has not disputed the same.
"Admittedly the above order was in force. Parties were trying to settle the dispute and the applicant came to be arrested on March 8, 2021. If the applicant is arrested with reference to FIR bearing No. (...), he be released forthwith", the High Court had directed. Then on March 15, the High Court directed that in continuation of the order of March 9, 2021, no steps be taken against the applicant till March 23, 2021. Finally, on March 31, the High Court recorded that while passing the above interim order, it was submitted by advocates for both sides that oral interim protection was granted since December 23, 2020. "At this juncture when the proceedings are clearly pending between the parties and both of them have set the criminal machinery in action, to strike a balance between both the parties the investigation is required to be proceeded, however, the present applicant not to be arrested till next date of hearing", the High Court ordered.
In this backdrop, Justice Chandrachud observed,
"The High Court said 'don't arrest him' orally. We have our reservation about that. Then the High Court said 'release him', which was because of the oral direction and the High Court wanted to protect the majesty of the court...okay, fair enough. But even then the High Court gives no reasons for interfering in the investigation and passing the order for no arrest!"
"Commercial morality has no value in our country. Because there is no rule of law in commercial matters at all, we are at the bottom of the ladder in the world in this space", Justice Chandrachud commented.
"There is no fear of law! Parties buy time! They ask for ad-interim relief, for 'no arrest'! And somebody who has to take 5 crores is left in the lurch!", expressed the judge.
"Also, it is a section 467, 468 and 471 (of the IPC) case! These attract life imprisonment and are non-compoundable! If forgery is to be made out, the High Court cannot have looked into any settlement!", added Justice Shah.
Case Title: Salimbhai Hamidbhai Memon V. Niteshkumar Maganbhai Patel & Anr.