Chandigarh, January 29
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asserted that a Panchkula Judicial Magistrate proceeded in “hot haste”, in a slipshod manner, and “obviously without application of mind”. Justice Sureshwar Thakur added the Magistrate proceeded to order initiation of coercive process against an accused, which resulted in untenable curtailment and fettering of his personal liberty.
What High Court Justice observed
Consequently, the trial Judge concerned could not have proceeded to make an order for cancellation of bail granted to the applicant, merely for his purportedly breaching the condition. — Justice Sureshwar Thakur
The matter was placed before Justice Thakur after the accused challenged the initiation of coercive process against him. Going into the background of the matter, Justice Thakur observed an application filed by the petitioner for anticipatory bail before Panchkula Sessions Judge was allowed. He had moved the Court following the registration of a cheating and criminal conspiracy case in September 2009 under Sections 409, 420, and 120-B of the IPC at the State Vigilance Bureau police station, Panchkula.
Referring to the order, Justice Thakur further observed its perusal disclosed that “there was no imposition of any condition upon the bail applicant to record his personal appearance before the trial Judge concerned”.
“Consequently, the trial Judge concerned could not have proceeded to make an order for cancellation of bail granted to the bail applicant, merely for his purportedly breaching the condition,” Justice Thakur further observed.
In his detailed order, Justice Thakur added the jurisdiction to order initiation of coercive process against the bail applicant solitary vested with the Court granting bail — the Court of Panchkula Sessions Judge, even if the condition was purportedly breached and assumingly that the prosecution or the Court concerned deemed it fit to initiate the measures for ensuring his personal appearance. The jurisdiction did not vest with the “committal Court” concerned.
Justice Thakur added it was clearly discernible from the orders appended with the petition that summons issued to the petitioner for recording his personal appearance before the Judicial Magistrate concerned “did not result in their becoming validly executed or served upon him”.
Justice Thakur added: “The Judicial Magistrate concerned, without awaiting valid service being effected upon accused, rather in a hot haste and in a slipshod manner and obviously without application of mind proceeded to order initiation of coercive process against the petitioner... It is required to be undone”.
Justice Thakur also quashed and set aside the impugned order dated October 7, 2021. “The executing agency is directed to not execute the non-bailable warrants. The NBWs, if not issued, be not issued against the petitioner,” the Bench concluded.
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