Bail granted does not come to an end due to delay in surety: HC
Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana high court has held that bail granted to a person does not come to an end on account of delay in submitting surety.
The high court bench of justice Anil Kshetarpal reversed an order passed by a Mohali court, observing that in such circumstances, mere delay in furnishing personal bail bonds/surety cannot go against the petitioner and the order granting bail under Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 does not cease to exist or comes to an end or stand eclipsed. Section 167 of the Code lays down the procedure for bail on the non-completion of probe.
The order came on the plea of one Surinderpal Singh, being probed by Punjab vigilance bureau in different graft cases in three FIRs, all registered in 2017. He secured bail in one FIR, but remained in custody due to two FIRs pending against him. When he secured bail in those two FIRs as well, his surety bonds were not accepted by the court in first FIR on account of delay, earlier this year. The person who had stood had surety in 2017 had withdrawn, but court did not accept fresh surety from him.
In the high court, he had contended that the court below erred in refusing to accept fresh surety as the bail granted to the petitioner has never been cancelled.
The court found that the bail once granted, may be cancelled, but there is no time limit prescribed for furnishing of bail/surety. The petitioner did “avail of” his right of bail and was granted. Thus, he would be deemed to have been released from custody, the court said, further, observing that the view of the trial court is against the mandate of proviso to Section 167(2) of the Code as expounded by the Supreme Court in various judgments.
The court also rapped the trial court, observing that the court below did take note of an apex court judgment cited by the petitioner in his favour. But, instead, refused to follow the same by observing that “these judgments are not applicable to the facts and circumstances of the present case”.
“A judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court is binding on all courts in the country under Article 141 of the Constitution. No doubt, the ratio decidendi (the rationale for the decision) laid down in a judgment is binding and not obiter dicta ( remarks made by judges that do not affect the outcome of the case). However, before distinguishing judgment, the court is required to analyse that what is the ratio laid down in the judgment and thereafter, proceed to explain the same,” the bench said adding that the manner in which the trial court has ignored the judgment of the apex court is not ‘appreciable’.