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Supreme Court Grants Bail To Accused Who Had Undergone 6 Years For Offence Punishable With A Maximum Term of 7 Years

Sohini Chowdhury
7 March 2022 2:36 PM GMT
Supreme Court Grants Bail To Accused Who Had Undergone 6 Years For Offence Punishable With A Maximum Term of 7 Years
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On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted bail to an accused who had undergone a sentence for a period of 6 years for an offence for which the maximum term of punishment is 7 years. A Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy noted that the accused, who had been arrested in November 2015, had raised the contention that he had undergone more than 50% of the maximum term...

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court granted bail to an accused who had undergone a sentence for a period of 6 years for an offence for which the maximum term of punishment is 7 years.

A Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy noted that the accused, who had been arrested in November 2015, had raised the contention that he had undergone more than 50% of the maximum term of punishment prescribed and accordingly invoked Section 436A of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. It reads as under -

"436A. Maximum period for which an undertrial prisoner can be detained.—Where a person has, during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial under this Code of an offence under any law (not being an offence for which the punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments under that law) undergone detention for a period extending up to one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under that law, he shall be released by the Court on his personal bond with or without sureties…

Provided that the Court may, after hearing the Public Prosecutor and for reasons to be recorded by it in writing, order the continued detention of such person for a period longer than one-half of the said period or release him on bail instead of the personal bond with or without sureties:

Provided further that no such person shall, in any case, be detained during the period of investigation, inquiry or trial for more than the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the said offence under that law."

The accused had approached the Bombay High Court seeking regular bail in FIR registered for offence punishable under Sections 406, 420 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999. Considering the seriousness of the offence, the High Court observed that it had adversely impacted the persons who had deposited money with the accused amounting to about Rs. 5.43 Crores. It further noted that from the material placed on record, prima facie, involvement of the accused was made out and therefore, it would be fit to invoke the first proviso to Section 436A and deny bail to the accused.

"Present case is a fit one wherein this Court is required to be sensitive to the proviso to Section 436 of the Cr.P.C. Prima facie involvement of the Applicant in the crime in question is apparent and could be inferred from the material evidence placed on record. Offence committed by the Applicant has economic colour which has ruined social structure of the persons who have deposited the amount with the Applicant. Considering the nature of evidence available on record, it is quite apparent that conviction of the Applicant can be achieved. That being so, Court refrains from granting benefit under Section 436A of Cr.P.C. to the Applicant. As such, Application stands rejected."

However, the Supreme Court opined otherwise -

"After hearing learned counsel for the appellant and learned counsel for the respondent-State, noticing the fact that the appellant has spent more than 6 years in a case where the maximum sentence extends up to 7 years, the appellant should be released on bail."

[Case Title: Deepak Shrikant Aggarwal v. State of Maharashtra Criminal Appeal No. 302 of 2022]

Click Here To Read/Download Supreme Court Order

Click Here To Read/Download High Court Order



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