Court is usually inclined to grant bail to accused when co-accused persons have already been granted bail for the same offence: High Court of Chhattisgarh

In order to maintain parity and equality among co-accused persons, the court is inclined to grant bail to an accused person in cases where a co-accused person has already been granted bail for allegedly committing the same offence. This was held by a single member bench of the High Court of Chhattisgarh consisting of Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra in the case of Shravan Sahu v. The State of Chhattisgarh [MCRC No. 4748 of 2021] on the 15th of July 2021.

It was alleged that the applicant, Shravan Sahu along with co-accused persons obtained deposits from numerous people by giving them the assurance of doubling the amount taken within a period of 15 days. However after the period of 15 days, even the original money taken was not returned to the people who gave the deposits. The total amount made by the applicant and his partners is believed to be around Rs. 48,05,980 in total. They were arrested in connection with crime No.131/2020 registered in Police Station Kharora in Raipur and charged under IPC Section 420 for dishonestly inducing delivery of property and Section 406/34 for criminal breach of trust. Additionally they were also charged under Sections 4 and 6 of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes Act and the Chhattisgarh Nikshaepakon ke Hiton Sarankshan Adhiniyam 2005.

The applicant’s first bail application had been dismissed by the court on grounds that co-accused Poshan Dewangan’s bail had been rejected. The first bail application of co-accused Vikas Padamwar was also rejected by the court for the same reason. However after co-accused Vikas Padamwar’s second bail application was granted, the present applicant requested for bail once again under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C praying that he also be granted bail like the co-accused Vikas Padamwar. The Learned State counsel on the other hand continued to oppose any grant of bail for the present applicant in this case.

Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra declared that “Considering the entire fact situation of the case as also considering the release of similarly placed co-accused persons, I am inclined to release the present applicant on bail”. Accordingly the application was allowed and the applicant was directed to be released on bail onexecuting a personal bond for a sum of Rs. 50,000 given that he will appear before the trial court on each and every given date.

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