Vs. Sanchita Chatterjee & Anr  Insc 85 (10 February 2004)
Hegde & B.P.Singh.
out of SLP (Crl.)No.4348 of 2003) SANTOSH HEGDE,J.
learned counsel for the parties.
to a criminal complaint filed by the respondent- wife herein alleging offence
punishable under Section 498A IPC against the appellant-husband herein being
registered and cognizance taken, the said appellant on 6th October, 1999
surrendered before the Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi in Complaint Case No.78 of
1999 and sought for grant of bail. On hearing both the sides and noticing the
fact that there was a possibility of compromise between the parties, the
appellant herein was released on bail by the said Magistrate on his furnishing
a bail bond for a sum of Rs.5,000/- with two sureties of the like amount each.
On 13.1.2000, on an application made by the respondent herein alleging that the
appellant is not cooperating in the compromise talk, the learned Magistrate
cancelled the bail. On a revision filed against the said cancellation of bail
by the appellant herein, the High Court of Judicature at Patna, Ranchi Bench on 18.4.2000 allowed
the revision. While doing so it held that the court below was not justified in
rejecting in cancelling the bail on the ground that the revision petitioner has
adopted an indifferent attitude and was not taking any steps for normalising
the relationship as contended by the respondent herein. In the said process,
the High Court remanded the matter to the trial court to re-hear the matter on
remand, on 30th July,
2001, the said
Judicial Magistrate, Ranchi rejected the petition filed by the
respondent for cancellation of bail holding that "therefore, it does not
appear legally just to cancel the bail of the accused on the ground that the
accused is not compromising". Being aggrieved by the said order the
respondent preferred a Criminal Misc. Petition before the High Court of Jharkhand
at Ranchi contending that the very basis of granting of bail to the appellant
was the compromise petition filed by him to keep the respondent herein as his
legally wedded wife at her matrimonial home and since the appellant has failed
to adhere to this term of the compromise, the appellant has lost his right to continue
on bail. Thus, the High Court by the impugned order has allowed the said
petition of the respondent-wife holding, inter alia, that the appellant herein
had also not appeared before the High Court inspite of the service of notice
which showed that he is not willing to keep his wife in violation of the terms
and conditions of the compromise petition which, according to the High Court,
was the basis for the grant of bail by the trial court. In the said process, it
set aside the order of the Judicial Magistrate Ranchi made on 30th of July,
2001 rejecting the prayer of the respondent for cancellation of bail.
counsel appearing for the appellant herein contended that the impugned order is
based on factual inaccuracies as also contrary to law. He submitted that the
observation of the High Court that there was a compromise between the parties
which was reduced to writing and under the terms and conditions of the said
compromise the appellant had agreed to keep his wife is wholly incorrect. He
pointed out from the records to the contrary and that there was no such
compromise arrived at between the parties. He pointed out that what was
submitted to the court was only that there were negotiations going on for finalisation
of the compromise. Therefore, the question of the appellant contravening the
terms of the compromise did not arise at all. He also contended that assuming
that there was any such violation of the terms of the compromise that cannot be
a ground for cancelling the bail. He also submitted that the appellant was
never served any court notice of the petition filed by the respondent in the
High Court and the impugned order has wrongly noted that the appellant had been
served and he remained absent.
learned counsel appearing for the respondent, however, contended that the very
basis of the grant of bail originally was on an assurance given by the
appellant that he would compromise and would keep his wife with him and he
having failed to fulfil the said promise made to the court, the High Court was
justified in cancelling the bail because the foundation for the grant of bail
was the promise made by the appellant.
heard the learned counsel for the parties, we are of the opinion that the High
Court was not justified in cancelling the bail on the ground that the appellant
had violated the terms of the compromise. Though in the original order granting
bail there is a reference to an agreement of the parties to have a talk of
compromise through the media of well wishers, there is no submission made to
the court that there will be a compromise or that the appellant would take back
his wife. Be that as it may, in our opinion, the courts below could not have
cancelled the bail solely on the ground that the appellant had failed to keep
up his promise made to the court. Here we hasten to observe first of all from
the material on record, we do not find that there was any compromise arrived at
between the parties at all, hence, question of fulfilling the terms of such
compromise does not arise. That apart non-fulfilment of the terms of the
compromise cannot be the basis of granting or cancelling a bail. The grant of
bail under the Criminal Procedure Code is governed by the provision of Chapter
XXXIII of the Code and the provision therein does not contemplate either
granting of a bail on the basis of an assurance of a compromise or cancellation
of a bail for violation of the terms of such compromise. What the court has to
bear in mind while granting bail is what is provided for in Section 437 of the said
Code. In our opinion, having granted the bail under the said provision of law,
it is not open to the trial court or the High Court to cancel the same on a
ground alien to the grounds mentioned for cancellation of bail in the said
provision of law.
in our opinion, the High Court has erred in passing the impugned order.
the reasons stated above, this appeal succeeds. The impugned order of the High
Court is set aside.
appeal is allowed.