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  • In the case of Surendra Singh Bhati vs State (NCT of Delhi) and other connected matters, the Hon’ble Delhi HC has opined that the magnitude of the offense in question cannot be the sole criterion for the denial of bail.
  • Granting bail to the two accused in a multi-crore scam case, the Court observed that the object of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused at the time of trial. This objective is neither punitive nor preventive. An undertrial prisoner should not be kept in prison unless there is a strong likelihood that he will flee from justice.
  • In the instant case, the accused are the Directors and promoters of IMPEX Pvt. Ltd. alleged of committing cheating by promising a 200% return. The complainant had invested an amount of Rs.9,00,000. It was promised to him that he would get the installments on the 10th of every month. But on not receiving anything for the first three months, they came to know that the Company’s accounts were frozen. The accused had been in jail since December, 2020.
  • Noting that the culpability of the accused cannot be decided at this juncture, the Court held that in the absence of any apprehension of the accused fleeing from justice, the Courts have to be very careful in depriving someone of their liberty.
  • The Court relied upon the landmark judgment of the Hon’ble SC in Sanjay Chandra vs. CBI wherein the Court observed that continued detention of the accused pending the completion of the trial could be a source of great hardship. It is true that sometimes detention of the accused in custody is a necessity for securing his attendance, but the operative word here is ‘necessity’.
  • It was also observed in the aforementioned case that keeping an accused in custody merely only upon the belief that he will tamper with the witnesses or threaten them, would, save in the most extraordinary of circumstances, would amount to a clear violation of the principles of personal liberty enshrined in the Constitution.
  • Thus, in the present case, the bail was granted.
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