Vs. State of Gujarat & Ors  Insc 359 (22 July 2005)
R.C. Lahoti,C.K. Thakker & P.K. Balasubramanyan
O R D
Miscellaneous Petition No. 4681 of 2005 (For clarification of Court's Order
dated 07.03.2005) IN Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 5321 of 2004 WITH
Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 5492 of 2004 Chotubhai Eknath Patil .
Petitioner Versus State of Gujarat .
Respondents This petition is filed for clarification of the order passed by
this Court on March 7,
2005 by which the
petitioners were released on temporary bail. A prayer is made to enlarge the
petitioners on bail till further orders and/or pending hearing of Special Leave
Petitions filed by them.
the case of the petitioners that First Information Report dated October 23, 2002 was lodged with DCB Police Station,
Surat against several accused including
the petitioners herein. It was alleged that certain offences had been committed
by the accused and huge amount had been misappropriated. Criminal Miscellaneous
Application Nos. 3331 and 5302, both of 2003 were disposed of by the High Court
of Gujarat by an order dated October 6, 2004
rejecting the prayer for grant of bail. Against the said order, the petitioners
have approached this Court by filing Special Leave Petitions (Criminal) Nos.
5321 and 5492 of 2004. Notice was issued by this Court and by an order dated March 7, 2005, temporary bail was granted. The
said order reads as under: "Adjourned by six weeks.
hearing the learned counsel for the parties, it is directed that the petitioner
shall be released on temporary bail on furnishing a personal bond in an amount
of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh only) with two solvent sureties of the like
amount to the satisfaction of the Sessions Court, Surat, on the same terms and
conditions as are contained in the operative part of the order dated 25.07.2003
passed by the High Court in Crl. Misc. Application Nos.3331/2003 and
5302/2003." It is stated by the petitioners that they were enlarged on
temporary bail in pursuance of the order passed by this Court. It was further
stated that the Special Leave Petitions were to come up for hearing on October 7, 2005, but at the request of the
respondents, the hearing was pre-poned to August 5, 2005. Since the order of this Court was
to release the petitioners on temporary bail and that period was to be over,
they have filed the present petition on April 18, 2005.
On May 13, 2005, this Hon'ble Court issued notice. The learned counsel
for the State waived service of notice and sought time for having instructions
which was granted by the Court. No interim order, however, was passed in favour
of the petitioners. Hence, the petitioners surrendered on April 21, 2005 and at present, they are in jail.
have heard Shri KTS Tulsi, Senior counsel for the petitioners and Ms. Vibha Datta
Makhija for the respondents.
learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that the petitioners are willing
to pay the amount and sincere and honest attempts/efforts have been made by
them. It is also stated that in Criminal Miscellaneous Application Nos. 3331 of
2003 and 5302 of 2003, the petitioners were enlarged on temporary bail at one
stage on certain conditions by the High Court. Those applications were,
however, finally rejected. The counsel submitted that the petitioners started
negotiations with the respondents and submitted proposal for payment of the
amount. It was also submitted that the petitioners were ready to re-pay the
loan of Rs.50.40 crores as mentioned in the proposal. Moreover, Special Leave
Petitions would come up for hearing in near future. They are in jail since long
and no useful purpose would be served by keeping them behind the bar,
particularly when they have shown their bona fide and have expressed their
willingness to pay the amount to the respondents. If they will be enlarged on
bail, no prejudice will be caused to the respondents inasmuch as even in past
when they were on bail, they had complied with terms and conditions imposed on
them. Moreover, they will be able to make necessary arrangements for payment of
the amount which according to the respondents is due and payable. It was,
therefore, submitted that an appropriate order may be passed releasing the
petitioners on bail till further orders and/or till pending Special Leave
learned counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, submitted that the
amount due and payable has gone up to Rs. 97 crores. So far as the proposal
made by the petitioners to pay Rs.50.40 crores is concerned, the same was considered
by the officers of the respondent and it was rejected on various grounds
mentioned in the letter communicated to the petitioners. In the
affidavit-in-reply filed by D.P. Joshi, Joint Registrar (Audit), Co-operative
Societies of Gujarat State, it was stated that the High-level Committee
constituted by the Government of Gujarat considered the proposal but did not
accept it. Since substantial amount remains unpaid and the petitioners have
taken undue advantage of their position, the High Court rightly rejected the
bail applications, and no case is made out at this stage for grant of bail.
heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the view that it would be
in the interest of justice to grant prayer of the petitioners. As stated in the
petition itself, the order passed by the High Court is subject matter of
challenge and Special Leave Petitions are pending before this Court. It has
also come on record that earlier prayer for temporary bail was granted by this
Court pursuant to which the petitioners were enlarged on bail, no doubt for a
temporary period. It is not even the allegation of the respondents that the
petitioners have violated terms and/or conditions of the said order passed by
this Court. When the petitioners have shown their willingness to pay the amount
and the Special Leave Petitions are pending, this Court will consider all
aspects when the matters will be taken up for hearing. But in view of the fact
that an order was passed by this Court temporarily releasing them on bail is
over and Special Leave Petitions await hearing and as stated by learned counsel
for the petitioners, the petitioners intend to enter into meaningful
negotiations with the respondents and to do all the necessary acts for payment
of loan amount, it would be in the interest of justice to enlarge them on bail
so as to enable them to make arrangements for such payment.
the foregoing reasons, the application deserves to be allowed and is
accordingly allowed. The petitioners are ordered to be enlarged on bail till
further orders on their each furnishing a personal bond in an amount of Rs. 1,00,000/-
(Rupees one lakh only) with two solvent sureties of the like amount to the
satisfaction of the Sessions Court, Surat, on the same terms and conditions on
which they were released on bail by this Court on March 7, 2005.
clear, we are allowing bail to the two petitioners persuaded by very peculiar
facts and circumstances of this case, and guided mainly by the consideration
that their retention in jail would be adverse to the interest of the several
investors/depositors of the bank while the latter are likely to be benefited by
the release of the petitioners on temporary bail, it is hoped that the
petitioners shall make a genuine effort making use of their liberty to clear
petitioners are found to have failed in discharging this obligation or misusing
their liberty in any way, the order of bail shall be liable to be recalled.
Criminal Miscellaneous Petition is disposed of accordingly.