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‘Can’t Allow Third Party To Challenge Bail Order’: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Bail To Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot

Padmakshi Sharma
18 March 2023 11:50 AM GMT
‘Can’t Allow Third Party To Challenge Bail Order’: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Challenging Bail To Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot

While noting that a third party could not be allowed to intervene into somebody's application for bail, the Supreme Court of India refused to entertain Ghanshyam Upadhyay's challenge to Bombay High Court's order granting interim bail to Videocon Group Chairman Venugopal Dhoot. The bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala expressed its disinclination towords entertaining the petition right at the outset. CJI DY Chandrachud posed an important question to Advocate Subhash Jha, counsel for the petitioner Ghanshyam Upadhyay. He asked –

"Why are you intervening in someone's application for bail? How can you intervene in somebody's application for bail? If they have wrongly granted bail, the State will move an appeal. But how can we allow a private party?"

When Jha attempted to prove his locus, CJI further added–

"You are an advocate. You can't challenge the grant of bail to somebody howsoever wrongly the order has been passed. You are not even the complainant. This will create a very wrong precedent. This is a criminal matter. You are a seasoned criminal lawyer. Imagine if we start entertaining challenges to orders of bail. The whole world will come here."

Jha responded by stating that locus standi was foreign to criminal jurisprudence and the issue in the matter was with regards to the High Court exercising powers under Article 226 to grant bail. He said–

"Who will do this? Who will intervene? In this case, the CBI should have argued. CBI did not argue even after we placed on record and the IA was circulated. CBI could have argued and we would not have approached your lordships. This is an economic offence."

Justice Narasimha, expressing the dissatisfaction of the court, said–

"Even a de-facto complainant cannot approach the court or interfered like this. The kind of compelling cases we have, the kind of burden that this court has, this kind of matter needs to be postponed and the jurisprudential aspects of the same can be examined later."

Accordingly, the bench dismissed the petition and noted that the Bombay High Court had been right in its order.

The Bombay High Court had granted Dhoot interim bail in a plea alleging illegal arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation. In his petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, Dhoot had sought quashing of the special CBI court’s remand orders of 26, 28 and 29 December, 2022 and asked the High Court to declare his arrest in gross violation of Sections 41 and 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Article 14, 19(1)(d) and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Case Title: Ghanshyam Upadhyay v. Venugopal Nandlal Dhoot SLP(Crl) No. 2702-03/2023

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