The purpose of bail is not punitive or preventive; it is primarily intended to ensure the presence of the accused during the trial: Delhi High Court on 2nd June 2023

Facts of the case

Malvinder Mohan Singh, the former promoter of Religare Enterprises Limited, has been granted bail by the Delhi High Court. FIR No. 50/2019 BAIL APPLN. 2810/2021, The bail pertains to his alleged involvement in the Religare Finvvest scam, which amounts to Rs. 2,397 crores.

Singh, along with Shivinder Mohan Singh and Sunil Godhwani, allegedly conspired to make Religare Finvest Limited (RFL) provide unsecured loans amounting to Rs. 2,397 crores to shell companies. These loans were given without proper documentation and on a non-arms’ length basis. Subsequently, the shell companies intentionally defaulted on the repayments.

The Economic Offence Wing of the Delhi Police registered FIR 2019 based on a complaint by Manpreet Singh Suri, the authorized representative of Religare Finvest Limited. The FIR was filed under sections 409(criminal breach of trust by public servant) 420(Cheating), and 120B( criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Courts Analysis and Decision

The Delhi high court on 2nd June 2023 held after referring to various cases and precedents said, the severity of an offense can be considered when considering whether to grant bail, but it should not be the sole criterion for denying bail.  The court further said, the purpose of bail is not punitive or preventive; it is primarily intended to ensure the presence of the accused during the trial. The fundamental principle highlighted in the referred judicial pronouncements is that a person who has community ties and meets the general conditions for bail should not be subjected to prolonged judicial imprisonment as a form of punishment prior to the conclusion of the trial.

 In the current case, the court believes that granting bail to the applicant, with appropriate conditions to protect the prosecution’s interests, would not cause any significant prejudice to the prosecution’s case before the trial court. This is especially true when considering that other co-accused individuals have already been granted bail.

Judgement Reviewed by A single judge bench of Justice Amit Sharma

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Written by – Anushka Satwani



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