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Case Law Details

Case Name : Praveen Kumar Vs State of Haryana (Punjab and Haryana High Court)
Appeal Number : CRM-M-37424-2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 16/01/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Praveen Kumar Vs State of Haryana (Punjab and Haryana High Court)

Introduction: In a recent landmark judgment, the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court granted bail to Praveen Kumar, the accused in a case involving charges under IPC and the CGST Act. The court considered crucial factors such as the number of witnesses and the duration of the petitioner’s incarceration.

The Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Praveen Kumar v. State of Haryana [CRM-M-No. 37424 of 2023 dated January 16, 2024] granted the bail to the Accused on the ground that, the Accused has been incarcerated for a long period of time and the trial is at the end stage with only two formal witnesses to be examined.

Facts:

Praveen Kumar (“the Petitioner”) filed an application for grant of regular bail under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (“the CrPC”), pertaining to FIR under Section 420, 467, 468, 201 and 120-B of IPC and Section 132(1)(b) and 132(1)(c) of Central Goods Services Tax Act, 2017 (“the CGST Act”).

Held:

The Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of CRM-M-No. 37424 of 2023 held that only two formal witnesses have been examined. Also, the Petitioner has been incarcerated for a period of more than two years. Therefore, the Hon’ble High Court directed the Petitioner to be released on bail and surety bonds subject to the satisfaction of concerned Trial Court/Duty Magistrate.

Conclusion: The Praveen Kumar vs. State of Haryana case highlights the significance of considering the number of witnesses and the duration of incarceration when granting bail. The Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision demonstrates a meticulous examination of legal provisions, balancing the petitioner’s rights with the progression of the trial. This case serves as a precedent for future bail considerations, emphasizing the importance of a case-specific analysis in alignment with the principles of justice.

Relevant Provision:

Section 439 of the CrPC:

            “Section 439: Special powers of High Court or Court of Session regarding bail.

  • A High Court or Court of Session may direct,–

(a) that any person accused of an offence and in custody be released on bail, and if the offence is of the nature specified in sub-section (3) of section 437, may impose any condition which it considers necessary for the purposes mentioned in that sub-section;

(b) that any condition imposed by a Magistrate when releasing any person on bail be set aside or modified:

Provided that the High Court or the Court of Session shall, before granting bail to a person who is accused of an offence which is triable exclusively by the Court of Session or which, though not so triable, is punishable with imprisonment for life, give notice of the application for bail to the Public Prosecutor unless it is, for reasons to be recorded in writing, of opinion that it is not practicable to give such notice.

(2) A High Court or Court of Session may direct that any person who has been released on bail under this Chapter be arrested and commit him to custody………”

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

1. The jurisdiction of this Court has been invoked under Section 439 Cr.P.C., for grant of regular bail to the petitioner in FIR No.7, dated 07.01.2019, under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 201 and 120-B IPC and Section 132(1)(B), 132(1)(C) of Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 as well as Section 132(1) (B & C) of Haryana Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, registered at Police Station City Charkhi Dadri, District Charkhi Dadri.

IPC & CGST Act Witnesses & Incarceration Duration Considered in Bail Granting

2. Learned counsel for the petitioner contends that the allegations qua petitioner is that a responsibility has been fastened upon him to deposit the tax liability but he did not do so despite having information on the portal of the firm M/s Vaishali Industries, is doing the business of service recipients, as has been detailed in the FIR.

3. On the other hand, learned State counsel has produced the custody certificate of the petitioner, which is taken on record, to demonstrate that he has suffered incarceration for a period of 02 years, 03 months and 27 days. He submits that the petitioner is a habitual offender as he is involved in twelve more cases and, therefore, prays for dismissal of the instant petition.

4. I have heard learned counsel for the parties.

5. As far as the pendency of other cases is concerned, as has been stated by learned State counsel, no doubt, at the time of granting bail, the criminal antecedents of the petitioner are to be looked into but at the same time it is equally true that the appreciation of evidence during the course of trial has to be looked into with reference to the evidence in that case alone and not with respect to the evidence in the other pending cases. In such eventuality strict adherence to the rule of denial of bail on account of pendency of other cases/convictions in all probability would lend the petitioner in a situation of denial the concession of bail.

6. Looking into the totality of facts and circumstances as well as the submissions made by learned counsel for the parties and the fact that the trial is almost over as only two formal witnesses are to be examined out of total 47 witnesses, as has been stated by learned State counsel and the next date of hearing before the trial Court is 22.01.2024 added with the fact that the trial is at the fag end, therefore, no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping the petitioner behind the bars.

7. In view of the aforesaid discussions made hereinabove, the petitioner is directed to be released on regular bail on his furnishing bail and surety bonds to the satisfaction of the trial Court/Duty Magistrate, concerned.

8. In the afore-said terms, the present petition is hereby allowed.

9. However, it is made clear that anything stated hereinabove shall not be construed as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case.

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