Background of the Case
In the case of Ramesh Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi First Information Reports, which are filed, among other things, under Section 420 IPC, and legal actions taken by those who are accused of cheating in order to obtain orders under Section 438 CrPC, 1973, unintentionally become procedures for recouping the amount of money allegedly cheated, and the courts are compelled to impose deposit requirements as a condition of granting pre-arrest bail.
Analysis of Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court’s division judge panel, which is composed of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Dipankar Datta, has disapproved the practice of courts requiring the deposit or payment of disputed money as a condition for granting pre-arrest bail in cases involving cheating. The panel noted that this practice tends to give the impression that posting bail requires contributing money that was purportedly defrauded. The laws for the issue of bail were not truly intended for that.
The Court, therefore thought it necessary to remind the High Courts and the Sessions Courts not to be unduly swayed by arguments put forth by solicitors for the accused in the kind of agreements made while applying for bail under section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code that dedemandseeping money on deposit or repaying it, together with adding a clause requiring that money before release is granted.
The High Court or Court of Sessions may impose requirements in a case under Subsection (2) of Section 438 of the Cr. PC, but these conditions must not be onerous, unreasonable, or excessive, the Court emphasised. Conditions that facilitate the accused’s attendance before the investigating officer, the unobstructed conclusion of the inquiry, and the community’s safety are significant in the context of bail. The Court did not establish a rule that does not take into account a person’s ability to pay a deposit or make a payment before setting bail. However, in extraordinary circumstances, such as when a claim of theft of public funds is made and the accused asks the court for leniency to ensure his freedom, the court may consider this before considering an anticipatory bail application. In circumstances of private disputes where private parties allege that their money was used in cheating, the Court finds that returning public funds to the system would not be in the best interests of society.
CASE NAME – Ramesh Kumar v. State of NCT of Delhi, SLP(Crl) No.-002358 / 2023