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As If Some Gazetted Officers May Not Be Of Much Repute': Calcutta HC Sets Aside Order Requiring Two 'Reputed' Gazetted Officers To Stand As Surety

Raashi Saxena ,
  21 November 2022       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta
Brief :

Citation :
C.R.R. 1609 of 2022

When a District Magistrate or another Executive Magistrate who has been given special government authority in this regard learns that someone within the local limits of his jurisdiction-

(a) is a habitual thief, burglar, housebreaker, or robber; or

(b) regularly receives stolen items while being aware that it has been stolen, or

(c) routinely harbours or protects thieves, or assists in hiding or disposing of stolen items, or

(d) routinely engages in, seeks to engage in, or aids in the commission of an offence under Chapter XII of the Penal Code, or under Sections 489A, 489B, Section 489C, or Section 489D of that Code, such as kidnapping, abduction, extortion, deceit, or mischief; or

(e) routinely violates the peace, seeks to violate the peace, or aids in the commission of such offences, or

(f) poses a threat to the community by being so desperate and dangerous that he should not be left unattended,

Such a Magistrate may, in the manner set forth below, demand that the person in question give justification for why he should not be required to sign a bond with sureties for his good behaviour for the amount of time—not to exceed three years—that the Magistrate deems appropriate to fix.

CASE TITLE:  
Kashinath Dey @ Kashi Vs. The State of West Bengal

DATE OF ORDER: 
17th May 2022

BENCH: 
Justice Jay Sengupta

PARTIES: 
Petitioner : Mr. Sudip Ghosh Chowdhury

Respondent : State of West Bengal [Mr. Madhusudan Sur, Ld. APP and  Mr. Manoranjan Mahata]

SUBJECT

The Calcutta High Court emphasised that excessive limits may not be imposed in proceedings requiring the signature of a bond for good behaviour in a recent amendment to an order granted by the competent Magistrate in proceedings initiated under Section 110 of the CrPC.

BRIEF FACTS

By order dated February 16, 2022, the concerned Executive Magistrate had given the petitioner the following instructions: show cause as to why he shall not be obligated  for a good behaviour bond under Section 110 of the CrPC and to also provide an amount of Rs. 1,00,000 each with "two reputed Gazetted Officers" as sureties for his good behaviour for such a period not exceeding three years.

ISSUE RAISED

  • Whether Section 110 of the CrPC was applicable to the defendant?
  • Interpretation of the word “reputable” in the term reputable gazetted officer

ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER

  • A Gazetted Officer cannot serve as a surety for the petitioner because he is an ordinary guy, according to the petitioner's attorney. 
  • Furthermore, it was suggested that since that is a subjective description, it is challenging for him to identify a Gazetted Officer of repute.

ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE RESPONDENT

  • The petitioner was a defendant in a number of cases, according to the State's attorney, some of which were covered by the N.D.P.S. Act and others by the Indian Penal Code.
  • Because the petitioner is a repeat offender, the court was further informed that he must adhere to a variety of stringent rules.
  • It was further argued that the concerned Executive Magistrate made the right decision when he requested two Gazetted Officers to act as sureties for him.

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT

  • In response to the opposing arguments, the Court stated that such onerous conditions cannot be imposed under established legal precedent, either in an order granting bail or in a proceeding requiring execution of a bond for good behaviour that cannot be satisfied by the person on whom such direction is granted.
  • The Court further determined that the requirement put forward by the seasoned Executive Magistrate is unclear since it implies that not all Gazetted Officers are of high calibre, and the word "reputed Gazetted Officer" raises questions. As a result, the strict standards set by the knowledgeable Executive Magistrate cannot be upheld.

CONCLUSION

After careful consideration of the facts and legal history of the case, the court was of the opinion that the petitioner must appear before the learned Executive Magistrate on a subsequent date to be determined by the learned Magistrate, which will be within a month of the date of communication of this order, and must provide justification for why he should not be bound by a good behaviour bond under Section 110 of the Code for an amount of Rs. 1,00,000 each with two local sureties for his good behaviour.

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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