Prem Shankar Prasad v. State of Bihar

Penal Code, 1860 – the observations made by the High Court while granting the anticipatory bail to accused that the nature of accusation is arising out of a business transaction and therefore the accused is entitled to the anticipatory bail is concerned, the same cannot be accepted. Even in the case of a business transaction also there may be offences under the IPC more particularly sections 406, 420, 467, 468, etc. What is required to be considered is the nature of allegation and the accusation and not that the nature of accusation is arising out of a business transaction.

At this stage, it is required to be noted that respondent No.2 ­ accused has been charge­sheeted for the offences punishable under sections 406 and 420, etc. and a charge­sheet has been filed in the court of learned Magistrate Court. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the impugned judgment and order dated 14.08.2019 passed by the High Court granting anticipatory bail to respondent No.2 – accused is un­sustainable and deserves to be quashed and set aside and is accordingly quashed and set aside. However, two weeks’ time from the date of pronouncement of this judgment is granted to respondent No.2 to surrender before the concerned Trial Court and thereafter it will be open for respondent No.2 – accused to pray for regular bail, which may be considered in accordance with law and on its own merits. The present appeal is accordingly allowed in the aforesaid terms.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 82 & 83 – Accused is absconding – Anticipatory Bail – specific allegations of cheating, etc. – High Court has granted anticipatory bail to accused by observing that the nature of accusation is arising out of a business transaction – Even the High Court has just ignored the factum of initiation of proceedings under sections 82­-83 of Cr.PC by simply observing that “be that as it may” – grant of anticipatory bail ought not to have been ignored by the High Court and ought to have been considered by the High Court very seriously and not casually.

Despite the above observations on merits and despite the fact that it was brought to the notice of the High Court that respondent No.2 – accused is absconding and even the proceedings under sections 82-­83 of Cr.PC have been initiated as far as back on 10.01.2019, the High Court has just ignored the aforesaid relevant aspects and has granted anticipatory bail to respondent No.2 – accused by observing that the nature of accusation is arising out of a business transaction. The specific allegations of cheating, etc., which came to be considered by learned Additional Sessions Judge has not at all been considered by the High Court. Even the High Court has just ignored the factum of initiation of proceedings under sections 82­-83 of Cr.PC by simply observing that “be that as it may”. The aforesaid relevant aspect on grant of anticipatory bail ought not to have been ignored by the High Court and ought to have been considered by the High Court very seriously and not casually. [Para 7.2]

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 – Section 438 – Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest – If anyone is declared as an absconder/proclaimed offender in terms of section 82 of Cr.PC, he is not entitled to relief of anticipatory bail. [Para 7.3]

The High court has committed an error in granting anticipatory bail to respondent No.2 – accused ignoring the proceedings under Section 82­-83 of Cr.PC.

Citations : JT 2021 (10) SC 410