In a significant ruling, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted transit anticipatory bail for six weeks to three applicants including two senior citizens, permanent residents of Mumbai, who were booked for cheating and breach of trust at a Police Station in Haryana’s Rewari and observed that in view of Covid-19 pandemic, they cannot travel to Haryana immediately to seek pre-arrest bail before the competent court in Rewari.
The Court granted six-week time to applicants to approach the Court in Haryana for seeking pre-arrest bail. Meanwhile, in the event of arrest, the Court said that applicants be released on furnishing personal bonds of Rs 25,000 along with sureties.
While plea for anticipatory bail is ordinarily required to be filed in the Court of the local jurisdiction where FIR has been registered, the accused persons sought transit pre-arrest bail in view of Covid-19 situation and argued that they cannot immediately approach a Court in Haryana for reliefs, as two of them are senior citizens, being vulnerable to the coronavirus.
A single-judge bench of Justice Sandeep K Shinde passed the order through videoconference on Tuesday on a plea filed by applicants, two of them being 72 and 62 years of age, seeking transit anticipatory bail and protection from arrest. The Court noted that the First Information Report (FIR) under section 420 and 406 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the applicants on February 17 this year with a Police Station in Rewari.
The order stated, “Prima-facie, it appears, the subject offence came to be registered on account of cheques issued by the applicants being directors of their company against the purchase orders placed by them with the complainant company.”
The Court further observed that one of the applicants had issued two post-dated cheques of November last year against two purchase orders placed by him on behalf of the company.
Advocates Omkar Mulekar, Nausher Kohli and Harsh Gokhale for the applicants informed the bench that notice was issued by Police station in Haryana directing the applicants to remain present on June 9 along with Covid-19 test reports and therefore applicants apprehended their arrest and moved the HC.
The lawyers submitted that applicants are willing to co-operate in the investigation and would approach the Court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate reliefs, within a reasonable time but, till then they may be protected.
After examining submissions and prevailing situation, Justice Shinde said, “I am satisfied that two applicants being senior citizens, cannot approach the Court of competent jurisdiction immediately for appropriate reliefs. Besides, applicants are permanent residents of Mumbai.”
Observing this, the bench granted relief to the applicants and gave six-week time to them to approach the competent court in Haryana for seeking pre-arrest bail.
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