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An interim order restraining arrest, if passed while dealing with an application under Section 438 of the Code will amount to interference in the investigation : Tripura High Court

The Tripura High Court in the case of Jawhar Miah vs The State Of Tripura (AB 21 of 2022) upheld that an interim order restraining arrest, if passed while dealing with an application under Section 438 of the Code will amount to interference in the investigation.

Facts of the case : This is an application under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for granting pre-arrest bail to the applicant in the event of his registered under Sections 420, 468, 469, 471 read with Section 34 IPC. 

The case has been registered against the accused applicant and 2 other accused on the basis of the written FIR lodged by Sri Rajat Ray, an advocate and Notary Public. The informant lodged the said FIR with the Officer in charge of West Agartala P.S. on 06.03.2022 alleging, inter alia, that the accused applicant in connivance with the other two accused forged his signature on a lease agreement and he also used a fake seal in his name on the said document. 

The case has been registered against the accused applicant and 2 other accused on the basis of the written FIR lodged by Sri Rajat Ray, an advocate and Notary Public. The informant lodged the said FIR with the Officer in charge of West Agartala P.S. on 06.03.2022 alleging, inter alia, that the accused applicant in connivance with the other two accused forged his signature on a lease agreement and he also used a fake seal in his name on the said document.

Learned PP has also referred to a report of the Addl. SDM, Sonamura which indicates that during verification of the documents of the executants of a sale deed in his office, it was detected that the Aadhar Card and Voter ID card of the said executants of the deed were fake. 

Counsel contends that admittedly accused is a licensed deed writer. He duly submitted his license to the competent authority for renewal and the same is pending for consideration of the renewing authority. In these circumstances, the accused in order to earn his livelihood authored the questioned deed which cannot be treated as an offence since the executants of the deed have admitted the said deed to be a genuine document. Situated thus, no malicious intention can be attributed to the accused. 

Judgment :There may be circumstances in which the accused may provide information leading to discovery of material facts. It may be necessary to curtail his freedom in order to enable the investigation to proceed without hindrance and to protect witnesses and persons connected with the victim of the crime, to prevent his disappearance, to maintain law and order in the locality. For these or other reasons, arrest may become an inevitable part of the process of investigation. The legality of the proposed arrest cannot be gone into in an application under Section 438 of the Code.

An interim order restraining arrest, if passed while dealing with an application under Section 438 of the Code will amount to interference in the investigation, which cannot, at any rate, be done under Section 438 of the Code.

In view of the nature of the offense, its impact on society, the prima facie materials available against the accused and the chance of his tampering with evidence and influencing the witnesses, this court was not inclined to grant pre- arrest bail to the accused at this stage. His bail application was rejected.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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