high court himachal

Accused has a choice to either furnish surety or give fixed deposit in case of bail: Himachal Pradesh High Court

Courts can impose restrictive conditions upon grant of bail subject to the evidence produced. The High Court bench consisting of J. Anoop Chitkara laid down strict conditions upon the petitioner seeking grant of bail in the case of Dinesh Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh [Cr. MP(M) No. 67 of 2021].

The petitioner came up to the court seeking regular bail on the ground that he was innocent. The petitioner had been accused of establishing sexual relations with the victim, a female aged 30 years and belonging to the Scheduled Caste Community, under the false promise that he would marry her. The victim filed an FIR against the petitioner claiming that he had stayed with her for four years under the promise of marriage and continued to have sexual relations during the entire period. He also promised the victim to solemnize Court Marriage in 2021. However, he was discreetly engaged with some other girl and upon confrontation about the same, he told the victim that such engagement was because of the family pressure and he was unhappy with the same. He continued to have coitus with her after this and even gave her contraceptive pills.

The Learned Counsel for the petitioner contended that incarceration before the proof of guilt would cause grave injustice to the petitioner and his family. The Counsel for the State on the other hand contended that if the Court was inclined towards granting him bail then such a bond must be subject to very stringent conditions. This would take care of any possibility of the accused influencing the investigation, tampering with evidence, intimidating witnesses and the likelihood of fleeting justice. Relying on the case of Sushila Aggarwal v. State (NCT of Delhi) [(2020) 5 SCC 1, Para 92], the counsel argued that the Court could impose restrictive conditions subject to the evidence produced.

The High Court, upon analysis of the case, stated that the victim continued to have coitus with the petitioner even when she came to know that he was engaged with another woman, and hence, any further incarceration of the petitioner would not be justified. Due to this, the petitioner is eligible for bail. Relaying on the case of Manish Lal Shrivastava v. State of Himachal Pradesh [CrMPM No. 1734 of 2020], the Court observed that “Any Court granting bail with sureties should give a choice to the accused to either furnish surety bonds or give a fixed deposit, with a further option to switch over to another”.

Further, the Court asked the petitioner to surrender all firearms along with license within 30 days, which he, subject to the provisions of the Indian Arms Act, 1959, could claim back in case of acquittal. Further that the bail could be cancelled if during the pendency of the trial the petitioner repeats or commits any offence where the sentence prescribed is more than seven years or if he violated any condition stipulated in the present order.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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