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Court expressed its displeasure over the “disturbing trend” of subordinate courts entertaining bail applications despite the pendency of similar proceedings before higher courts : High Court of Delhi

The High Court of Delhi, through learned judges, Justice Anoop Kumar in the case of Shiv Lingam v. State and Ors (CRL.M.C. 2885/2022 & CRL.M.A. 12026/2022 ) expressed its displeasure over the “disturbing trend” of subordinate courts entertaining bail applications despite the pendency of similar proceedings before higher courts

BRIEF FACTS: The petitioner preferred the petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. for quashing of the impugned order passed by learned Additional Sessions Judge-09, West, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi whereby the bail granted to the petitioner vide order by the learned ACMM, Central, Delhi in FIR No.370/2020 under Sections 448, 451, 467, 468, 471, 34 of IPC registered at PS: Patel Nagar was cancelled under Section 439(2) Cr.P.C. As per the case of the prosecution, the petitioner/accused in the present case committed trespass in the house of the complainant during her absence while they had gone to Gujarat due to Covid-19 in June, 2020. Further, the petitioner claimed possession on the strength of false and fabricated documents. The petitioner was arrested after ascertaining the falsification of the aforesaid documents and has been charge-sheeted for the offence punishable under Sections Sections 448, 451, 467, 468, 471, 34 of IPC.  

While the petitioner was in custody prior to filing of the charge-sheet and after filing of charge-sheet, the bail applications of the petitioner were dismissed by the learned ACMM as well as by the learned Additional Sessions Judge. On moving an application under Section 437 Cr.P.C., before the learned ACMM, the petitioner was granted bail vide order despite the fact that a bail application was already pending before the learned Sessions Court. Further, the bail application was disposed of as infructuous by learned Sessions Court only on the  view of grant of bail by learned ACMM.The  respondent No. 2 challenged the order passed by the learned ACMM granting bail to the petitioner, by filing an application under Section 439 (2) Cr.P.C. Vide impugned order dated 07.06.2022, the said application was allowed by learned Additional Sessions Judge-09, West, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi and consequently, the bail granted to the petitioner vide previous order was cancelled with directions to surrender before the learned ACMM, West, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi on 09.06.2022.

FINDINGS OF THE COURT: The court observed that the learned ACMM in the present case was accordingly expected to give due consideration to the grounds which weighed with the Court in rejecting the earlier bail applications of the petitioner and should not have considered the application in a routine manner during pendency of ‘application for bail’ before the Sessions Court, as apparently no substantial change of circumstances stands revealed in order dated 06.04.2022. The court further remarked that the consideration of bail application by subordinate court despite pendency of an application with the higher court or without consideration of grounds of rejection of earlier application by higher courts, may be an utter disregard to judicial discipline. The court directed that the trial courts shall make an endeavour to ascertain from the petitioner/accused concerned regarding the pendency of any other bail application before the higher forum or rejection of any earlier bail application, before considering the bail application in accordance with law. The court opined that this would ensure that the doctrine of judicial discipline and propriety is upheld and would avoid any bench hunting.

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 JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – AMRUTHA K

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