Singh & Anr Vs. State of Punjab & Ors  Insc 557 (17 September 2004)
& N.Santosh Hegde (Arising out of Slp(Crl.)Nos.2313-2314 Of 2003) Santosh
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
These appeals are filed against the two orders made by the High Court of
Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh, one in Crl.Misc.No.52419-M of 2001 dated 29th
of April, 2003 and the other in Crl.Misc.No.19431 of 2003 in
Crl.Misc.No.52419-M of 2001 dated 8th of May, 2003 by which orders the High
Court directed the amount deposited with the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hoshiarpur
by one Nanak Chand be paid over to the respondents- complainants herein.
Brief facts necessary for the disposal of these appeals are as follows:
A criminal complaint of cheating and conspiracy under Section 420 read with
Section 120-B IPC was filed by Dharamvir Singh, Amrik Singh and Satish Kumar
against the appellants herein and one Nanak Chand, the father of the first
appellant herein, alleging that they received a sum of Rs.6,22,000/- as a
consideration for sending the complainants abroad and by such collection of
amount the above-named accused have committed the above said offence.
On coming to know of the filing of complaint, Nanak Chand apprehending his
arrest filed an application for grant of anticipatory bail in the said petition
to show his bona fides, the said Nanak Chand offered to deposit in the court
the amount of Rs.5.82 lacs which was the amount claimed in the complaint. While
doing so, he also agreed that in the event of there being a settlement between
the parties, the said amount will be paid over to the complainants. Nanak Chand
was granted bail in the said case.
Subsequently, even the appellants herein obtained bail.
A dispute arose in regard to the payment of amount deposited by Nanak Chand
in the court. Since the said dispute could not be settled between the parties,
the matter was referred to Lok Adalat even then the dispute could not be
At this stage, the complainants made an application in the petition for bail
filed by the present appellants that is Crl.Misc.No.52418-M/2001 seeking the
disbursement of the amount deposited to them alleging that since Nanak Chand
had admitted the receipt of complaint amount and was ready and willing to
return the same, the said amount should be paid to them.
They also contended that there was a panchayat in which Nanak Chand had
agreed to pay the said amount to them.
This application of the complainants was resisted by the appellants on the
ground that the amount in question was deposited primarily for the purpose of
showing the bona fides of said Nanak Chand and there was a conditional
agreement for the disbursement of the said amount to the complainants in the
event of there being a settlement between the parties and since no such
settlement had been arrived, the High Court in the criminal proceedings cannot
direct the payment of amount to the complainants.
The High Court by the impugned order allowed the application filed by the
complainant and directed the amount deposited with the Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Hoshiarpur be paid over to the complainants after obtaining proper
In this case, Shri Sanjay Jain, learned counsel appearing for the appellants
submitted that the amount in question was deposited to show the bona fides of
Nanak Chand only for the purpose of bail and not as an admission of guilt.
Since there is a dispute between the parties until the same is settled, the
money cannot be paid to the complainants, therefore, the High Court could not
have directed the payment of the amount that was deposited by Nanak Chand to
Shri K.T.S.Tulsi, learned senior counsel appearing for the
complainants-respondents herein pointed out that there was a panchayat wherein
the accused including Nanak Chand had agreed to pay the above said amount, the
proceeding of which was filed in the courts below, hence, the High Court was
justified in directing the payment to be made to the complainants-respondents.
He also contended that the accused Nanak Chand and even the appellants herein
having obtained the bail after depositing the said amount on a condition that
the same could be paid over to the complainants, are now trying to over-reach
the courts by frivolous objection therefore, if the amount in question is not
to be disbursed to the complainants, the bail granted to these appellants and
Nanak Chand should be liable to be cancelled.
We notice that the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hoshiarpur accepted the amount
from Nanak Chand on his voluntarily agreeing to deposit the same and further
directed the amount to be paid to the complainants probably the bail was also
granted to Nanak Chand on his showing the said bona fides. But while accepting
the deposit, the Magistrate had made it clear that the amount in question would
be paid to the complainants only if a settlement is arrived at. He had also
directed that in the event of no settlement being arrived within the time
stipulated in his order the amount in question should be kept in interest bearing
The fact that there was no settlement between the parties is not in dispute.
It is seen from records that even an attempt to settle the dispute through Lok Adalat
has failed, therefore, the claim of the complainants for the amount in deposit
being in the nature of the civil dispute. In our opinion, the High Court ought
not to have directed the payment. We are also of the opinion that the High
Court in a bail application could not have adjudicated upon the rights between
the parties in regard to the amount in deposit and the impugned directions
might also prejudice the defence of the accused. Therefore, we think it proper
to set aside the impugned orders of the High Court.
Since the amount in question was kept in deposit with the Magistrate voluntarily
by Nanak Chand to show his bona fides and consequent to which he had obtained a
bail the said amount will not be returned to Nanak Chand either till the order
of bail continues to be in existence.
We notice by an earlier order the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hoshiarpur had
directed the amount to be deposited in the interest bearing account in the
event of there being no settlement between the parties. Therefore, in the
interest of justice, we think the said direction should be given effect to and
the amount in question be kept in the interest bearing deposit in a nationalised
bank till such time as an appropriate orders are passed by the competent court
in this regard.
With the above observations, we allow these appeals and set aside the
impugned orders of the High Court.
These appeals are allowed.