Petitioner Enlarged on bail by the High Court for criminal breach of trust: Karnataka High Court

The criminal petition is filed under section 438 of Cr.P.C (direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest) praying to be enlarged on bail, by the petitioner for the offence punishable under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust), 408(criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent), 418 (cheating with knowledge that wrong loss may ensure to person whose interest offender is bound to protect) 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) read with 34 of IPC ( acts done by several person in furtherance of common intention). And the petition is allowed by the High court of Karnataka through the learned bench led by the Honorable MR. Justice H.P. Sandesh in the case Keshava M P and Pavithra Suresh vs state of Karnataka ( criminal petition no 289/2022) on 20th January 2022.

Learned counsel, Sri lakshmikant K appeared from the side of petitioner and learned High court government pleader, sri H S Shankar appeared from the side of respondent.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner No.1 was working as Territory Manager in the IIFL Company and they used to keep the pledged articles and disburse the loan amount and when the pledged articles were examined, came to know that fake articles were pledged and some of the gold articles are missing and hence suspected the role of the petitioner No.1 and also other employees accused Nos.2 to 4. Accused No.5 is the wife of petitioner No.1 and they indulged in such acts. Based on the complaint, the police have registered the case against the petitioners and also other accused persons for the offence punishable under Sections 403, 406, 408, 409, 418, 420 read with 34 of IPC.

Arguments presented by the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner that these two petitioners, who happens to be the husband and wife have not indulged in any such offence and the alleged incident was taken place on 1st July 2021 and the complaint was lodged on 18th September 2021 and no specific allegations are made in the complaint and also worth of the criminal breach of trust is also not mentioned in the complaint. Only with an oblique motive, a false case has been registered against the petitioners.

Arguments presented by the learned High court government pleader appearing on behalf of the respondent side that the specific allegations are made in the complaint that these two petitioners who are the husband and wife have indulged in committing the offence of criminal breach of trust and some of the gold articles which were pledged were missing and when such allegations are made, it is not a fit case to exercise the discretion in favour of the petitioners.

After hearing both the counsels and using the records presented before the Honorable court by them, though the allegation is made with regard to breach of trust is concerned against this petitioner and also against other employees, nothing is stated in the complaint about the total amount of criminal breach of trust for committing fraud. When such being the factual aspects of the case, it is a fit case to exercise the powers under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. and this Court can direct the petitioners to assist the Investigating Officer during the course of investigation.

And the petition is allowed by the court that the petitioner shall be realised on bail on certain grounds such as : The petitioners shall surrender themselves before the Investigating Officer within ten days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order and shall execute a personal bond for a sum of Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs only) each with two sureties each for the like-sum to the satisfaction of the concerned investigating Officer. The petitioners shall not indulge in hampering the investigation or tampering the prosecution witnesses. The petitioners shall co-operate with the investigating Officer to complete the investigation and they shall appear before the investigating Officer, as and when called for. The petitioners shall not leave the jurisdiction of the Investigating Officer without prior permission till the charge-sheet is filed or for a period of three months, whichever is earlier. And the petitioners shall mark their attendance once in a month that is, on 30th of every month between 10.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m., before the investigating Officer for a period of three months or till the charge-sheet is filed, whichever is earlier.

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Judgement Reviewed by Sugam Anand Mishra


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