Petitioners to specify if bail plea filed in superior court, says Punjab and Haryana HC

Petitioners to specify if bail plea filed in superior court, says Punjab and Haryana HC

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has changed the way bail pleas are filed before the lower courts in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. It has made it mandatory for an applicant to specify in the plea whether bail applications under any of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure have, or have not, been filed before any superior court.

Lapse may invite action

  • Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul ordered that the public prosecutors would be duty bound to apprise the court concerned on the issue after collecting necessary information from the investigating officers
  • “In case of lapse/default on probe agency/prosecution’s part in this regard, it would be construed to be a fraud played upon the court, which could invite departmental as well as penal action against the erring parties/officials,” the HC ruled

Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul also ordered that the public prosecutors/prosecuting agency would be duty bound to apprise the court concerned on the issue after collecting necessary information from the investigating officers.

“In case of lapse/ default on the investigating agency/ prosecution’s part in this regard, it would be construed to be a fraud played upon the court, which could invite departmental as well as penal action against the erring parties/ officials, as the case may be,” the High Court ruled. The Registrar-General was also directed to circulate the order to “all concerned” for not only information, but also “necessary and strict compliance”.

The directions came on a second regular bail petition in a house-trespass case registered in August last year under Sections 454 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code at Hajipur police station in Hoshiarpur district.

A report was called from the court below after the petitioner’s counsel, on a previous date of hearing, sought the petition’s withdrawal on the ground that he had since been released on bail by the Mukerian Judicial Magistrate First Class.

Justice Kaul observed the report clearly revealed the petition’s pendency was cleverly concealed from the court below. Refusing the petition’s withdrawal, Justice Kaul added the court deemed it appropriate to take suo motu cognisance of the fraud played upon both the HC and the trial court by the petitioner. Notice was also issued to the petitioner as to why the bail should be not cancelled.

Justice Kaul added time and again, more so in the recent past, it came to the court’s notice the accused clandestinely approached the trial court seeking a similar relief in bail matter by either concealing the pendency of a petition before the HC or by misrepresenting facts. Such malpractices were undoubtedly a matter of serious concern deserving to be nipped in the bud at the earliest.

Justice Kaul made it clear to the courts below in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh that bail pleas would also mention the outcome, if a superior court was at all approached for similar relief. An application, not containing the information would not be accepted/entertained and returned for resubmission with necessary information.

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