Supreme Court observed that a criminal court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant and that too, without any trial.
The apex court bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Krishna Murari reiterated that criminal proceedings are not for realisation of disputed dues.
In the present case, Jharkhand High Court had accorded bail to an accused, subject inter-alia to the condition of deposit bank guarantee of 53,60,000/- in the trial court.
The bench noted that the disputes in the instant case are civil in nature and the complainant has filed a civil suit for the specific performance of an alleged agreement executed by the accused of sale of property in Himachal Pradesh, which is pending adjudication.
The court stated, “In our view the High Court erred in making bail conditional upon furnishing of a bank guarantee which is as good as cash deposit having regard to the condition usually imposed by banks for issuance of bank guarantee.”
The bench set aside the condition of furnishing bank guarantee of Rs 53,60,000 and stated,
“It is well settled by a plethora of decisions of this Court that criminal proceedings are not for realization of disputed dues. It is open to a Court to grant or refuse the prayer for bail, depending on the facts and circumstance of the particular case. The factors to be taken into consideration, while considering an application for bail are, the nature of accusation and the severity of the punishment in the case of conviction; the nature of the materials relied upon by the prosecution; reasonable apprehension of tampering with the witnesses or apprehension of threat to the complainant or the witnesses; reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at the time of trial or the likelihood of his abscondence; character behaviour and standing of the accused; the larger interest of the public or the State and similar other considerations. A Criminal Court, exercising jurisdiction to grant bail/anticipatory bail, is not expected to act as a recovery agent to realise the dues of the complainant, and that too, without any trial.”