19 August 2019


Judgments

High Court of Gauhati

Basanta Kumar Doley Vs. The State of Assam

MANU/GH/0179/2019

20.03.2019

Criminal

Socio-economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail

Present is an application under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) praying for bail of Petitioner, who has been in detention in connection with case under Sections 120(B) and 420 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) read with Section 7/13 (1) (a) (d) (iii) (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

Learned counsel for the Petitioner submitted that, the Petitioner has been in detention for about 10 months and the trial has not yet started, even the cognizance has not been taken by the learned trial Court and therefore, pray for releasing the Petitioner on bail. It was also contended, that the petitioner is an old man of 64 years and is an ailing person, and as such, requires better medical treatment, which may not be possible in the custody.

The offence alleged against the Petitioner and the material collected in support thereof, prima facie demonstrates, that the Petitioner by entering into criminal conspiracy to provide job for cash and such act of the Petitioner has shattered the trust and faith reposed on him by the society and the state. The Petitioner, by such alleged criminal activity not only betrayed the nation and society, but also committed fraud on the Constitution by deviating from their solemn constitutional responsibility.

In view of solemn duty entrusted to the Petitioner as member of the Public Service Commission, the offences alleged against the Petitioner are obviously grave and serious. Therefore, "such socio-economic offence, which is a class apart", cannot be equated with other usual offences or viewed with the same approach while considering bail in case of any other offence committed by any individual.

The Apex Court, in State of Bihar and Anr. -Vs- Amit Kumar @ Bachcha Rai, dealing with the socio-economic offences held that “it is well settled that socio-economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail. Usually socio-economic offences have deep rooted conspiracy affecting the moral fiber of the society and causing irreparable harm needs to be considered seriously."

It is apparent from the case diary that in spite of filing of the charge-sheet, the police is continuing with the further investigation. The Petitioner being a member of the Assam Public Service Commission, is alleged a key conspirator and an influential person. Therefore, having regard to the standing and position of the accused, apprehension of the learned P.P., that enlargement of the petitioner, may derail the process of further investigation by influencing the witness or tempering with the evidence, cannot be totally ruled out. Therefore, Petitioner was not entitled to bail at this stage. Accordingly, the bail application stands rejected. As regards the submission of Petitioner’s health issue, it is directed that the jail authority shall provide adequate medical assistance to the Petitioner. The bail petition stands disposed of.

Relevant

State of Bihar and Anr. -Vs- Amit Kumar @ Bachcha Rai MANU/SC/0515/2017

Tags : Socio-economic offence Bail Grant of

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