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Accused Can't Be Released On Bail Based On Victim's Stupidity: High Court Of Punjab And Haryana In: Vijender Vs. State Of Haryana

Vanshika ,
  15 May 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana
Brief :

Citation :
CRM-M-20769-2024

CASE TITLE:

Vijender vs. State of Haryana

DATE OF ORDER:

5 May 2024

BENCH:

Hon’ble Justice Anoop Chitkara

PARTIES: 

Petitioner: Vijender

Respondent: State of Haryana

SUBJECT:

The subject of the case is a bail application filed by Vijender under Section 439 of the CrPC. Vijender, along with his co-accused, is alleged to have been involved in a fraudulent scheme promising to send the complainants' children abroad for work. The complainants were induced to pay large sums of money on the assurance of obtaining work permits and jobs abroad. The petitioner sought bail, arguing that he has no prior criminal record and that his prolonged custody would cause undue harm to him and his family. The court evaluated the evidence and the seriousness of the allegations, ultimately denying the bail application due to the gravity of the offense and the substantial evidence against Vijender.

 IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

The important provisions mentioned in the case are:

  • Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC): This section deals with the power of the High Court and the Sessions Court to grant bail. The petitioner filed a bail application under this provision.
  • Sections 426, 420, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC): 

These sections pertain to the specific offenses alleged against the petitioner and his co-accused. 

  • Section 420: Deals with the offense of cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
  • Section 120-B: Pertains to criminal conspiracy.
  • Section 426: Deals with the offense of mischief and thereby causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees.
  • Section 161 of the CrPC: This section relates to the examination of witnesses during the course of an investigation by a police officer.
  • Section 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act: This provision pertains to the admissibility of electronic evidence, such as bank statements and digital records, in court proceedings.

BRIEF FACTS:

  • Vijender, along with his co-accused, allegedly assured several complainants that they could facilitate the immigration of their children to foreign countries for work opportunities.
  • The accused purported to have connections with immigration officials and politicians, offering to secure work permits and jobs abroad for the complainants' children, thus promising a prosperous future for them.
  • The accused induced the complainants to make substantial monetary payments.
  • The complainants, believing the promises made by the accused, transferred significant sums of money to them.
  • These payments were made based on the false assurances provided by the accused regarding the prospects of immigration and employment opportunities abroad.
  • Subsequently, the complainants realized that the promised services were not delivered, and they felt deceived by the accused.
  • The aggrieved complainants filed a complaint with the police, leading to the registration of an FIR (First Information Report) at Gharaunda Police Station, District Karnal, Haryana.
  • The FIR was registered under Sections 426 (mischief), 420 (cheating), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • The police initiated an investigation into the matter, gathering evidence to substantiate the allegations against the accused.
  • During the investigation, statements from witnesses were recorded, and bank records were obtained, revealing transactions related to the fraudulent scheme.
  • Additionally, incriminating evidence was gathered, including the recovery of funds from the possession of the accused.
  • Based on the evidence collected during the investigation, Vijender, along with his co-accused, was arrested by the police.
  • Subsequently, Vijender was remanded to judicial custody pending trial, as the investigation revealed his active involvement in the fraudulent scheme.
  • Vijender filed a bail application under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), seeking release from detention pending trial.
  •  In his bail application, Vijender argued that he had no prior criminal record and that his continued custody would cause irreparable harm to him and his family.
  • The court evaluated the evidence, the seriousness of the allegations, and the arguments presented by Vijender in his bail application.
  • After careful consideration, the court denied Vijender's bail application, citing the gravity of the offenses, the substantial evidence against him, and the potential harm to public trust posed by the fraudulent scheme.
  • However, the court allowed Vijender the option to file a new bail application after six months of custody if the trial remained incomplete, provided that he did not seek unnecessary adjournments.

ISSUES RAISED:

  • Whether the petitioner actively participate in a fraudulent scheme promising immigration and employment opportunities abroad in exchange for monetary payments?
  • Whether the evidence presented by the prosecution, including witness statements and documentary evidence, credible and sufficient to support the allegations against the petitioner?
  • Whether the petitioner should be granted bail considering factors such as the seriousness of the offenses and the potential impact on public trust and the administration of justice?

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PETITIONER:

The arguments advanced by the petitioner in the case were as follows:

  • The Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner likely argued that the petitioner’s lack of criminal antecedents indicated that he was not likely to commit the alleged offenses and should be given the benefit of the doubt.
  • The Counsel asserted petitioner’s innocence, stating that he had no prior criminal record and emphasized that he had never been involved in any illegal activities before.
  • The Counsel contended that this amount of Rs. 20,000 which was recovered from the petitioner was planted and not being a substantial evidence of his involvement in the alleged fraudulent scheme.
  • The Counsel emphasized that mere association with the main accused should not be construed as active participation in the fraudulent scheme.
  • The Counsel argued that the continued custody would cause irreparable harm to the petitioner and his family, particularly considering his long-term incarceration and the pending trial.
  • The Counsel requested to seek bail from the court, offering to comply with stringent conditions if granted release and expressed willingness to abide by any conditions imposed by the court during trial proceedings. 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT

The arguments advanced by the respondent (the State) in the case were as follows:

  • The Counsel appearing on behalf of the Respondent likely argued that the petitioner played a key role in making dishonest inducements to the complainants regarding immigration and employment opportunities abroad.
  • The Counsel asserted that these transactions demonstrated Petitioner’s direct involvement in the fraudulent activities and his receipt of substantial sums of money as part of the scheme.
  • The Counsel likely argued that the nature of the offenses and the substantial harm caused to the victims warranted stringent action and precluded the possibility of granting bail.
  • The Counsel contended that releasing the petitioner could pose a risk of tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses, thus jeopardizing the administration of justice in the case.
  • The Counsel argued that given the seriousness of the offenses and the evidence against him, Vijender posed a flight risk and should not be granted bail.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • The court considered Vijender's bail application under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which allows for the release of an accused person pending trial.
  • The judgment analyzed the arguments presented by both parties, including Vijender's assertions of innocence, lack of criminal record, and personal circumstances, as well as the State's contentions regarding his active participation in the fraudulent scheme and the seriousness of the offenses.
  • The court evaluated the evidence presented before it, including witness statements, documentary evidence such as financial transactions, and any other material evidence that supported the allegations against Vijender.
  • The judgment emphasized the gravity of the offenses charged against Vijender, including cheating, criminal conspiracy, and mischief. It highlighted the substantial harm caused to the victims and the potential risk to public trust posed by the fraudulent scheme.
  • Based on its analysis of the arguments and evidence, the court rendered its decision on Vijender's bail application. It concluded that Vijender's continued custody was warranted given the seriousness of the offenses and the risk he posed to the administration of justice if released on bail.
  • The judgment allowed Vijender the option to file a new bail application after six months of custody if the trial remained incomplete, provided that he did not seek unnecessary adjournments. This provision ensured that Vijender's right to seek bail was not unduly restricted while also taking into account the progress of the trial.
  • The judgment clarified that any observations made in the decision were neither an expression of opinion on the merits of the case nor intended for consideration by the trial court. This clarification aimed to prevent any prejudice to the parties during the trial proceedings.

CONCLUSION

The Hon’ble court denied the petitioner's bail application based on the gravity of the offenses, the substantial evidence presented by the prosecution, and the potential risk to the administration of justice if bail were granted. The judgment emphasized the serious nature of the allegations, including cheating and criminal conspiracy, and highlighted the need to maintain public trust in the judicial system. While acknowledging the petitioner's personal circumstances, the court determined that his continued custody was warranted at this stage of the proceedings. The judgment allowed for the possibility of a new bail application after six months if the trial remained incomplete, subject to certain conditions.
 

 
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