Facts and Background:
Prateek Jain, the petitioner, filed the current anticipatory bail application with a prayer to grant anticipatory bail in Case Crime No. 1906 of 2020, Police Station-Sihani Gate, District-Ghaziabad, under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 506, 406 IPC. In this case, it was not deemed appropriate to grant the learned A.G.A. additional time under Section 438 (3) Cr.P.C. (U.P. Amendment). The applicant, along with other co-accused individuals, was accused of being the Director of a construction firm. He applied for a flat being built by the company and charged Rs. 3,25,000/- as a booking deposit via check. He then took out a loan and paid back a total of Rs. 27,27,875/-. He has not been granted possession of the flat yet.
He then took out a loan and paid back a total of Rs. 27,27,875/-. He has not been granted possession of the flat yet. The applicant's learned counsel claimed that he was not the owner of the construction firm in question. Since he was only linked to the other directors, he was wrongly accused in this case. He said that the current case emerged as a result of demonetization and the resulting downturn in the real estate market. He also said that the informant is entitled to compensation under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act of 2016.
The A.G.A. rejected the applicant's request for anticipatory bail. He argued that she is not entitled to grant anticipatory bail because of the severity of the charges leveled against the applicant. He also argued that the applicant's fear was not based on any evidence on file and that anticipatory bail should not be given solely based on a fictitious fear.
The Court noted that the current Bail application hearing did not deserve to be adjourned in the greater interest of justice, given the mandate of Section 438(5) Cr.P.C., which requires anticipatory bail applications to be resolved within 30 days, as well as the spread of the second wave of novel coronavirus. The Court looked at Section 438 Cr. P.C., U.P. Amendment of 2019 and made some conclusions. According to the Court, the legislature, in its wisdom, left it open for the Court to enforce the rule of anticipatory bail based on the facts and circumstances of the event. The rule of anticipatory bail, according to the Court, is based solely on the apprehension of the detention. The fear may be related to the FIR's pre-recording or post-recording stages. The accused's survival was, however, a pre-requisite condition of apprehension of the arrest. The Court went on to interpret the value of the Right to Life by referring to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The Court stated that the fear of death for reasons such as the current novel coronavirus pandemic can be held to be a basis for granting anticipatory bail to an accused.
The Court also cited the case of Kerala Union of Working Journalists vs. Union of India and Others, in which the High Court of Kerala held that the fundamental right to life encompasses even an undertrial. The Court also held that the suspicion of an accused being infected with a novel coronavirus before and after his detention, as well as the risk of him spreading the virus while in touch with the police, the Court, or jail staff, or vice versa, may be considered a legitimate ground for granting an accused anticipatory bail. The informant/complainant may object to the relief provided to the applicant and may be unhappy with the observations made in this judgement in favor of the accused, according to the Court. They should not lose sight of the fact that the accused can only be subjected to the usual legal process of detention, bail, and trial if he is alive.
Given the above facts and circumstances, the Court granted the present anticipatory bail application after determining that fear of losing one's life in the current scenario is a basis for granting anticipatory bail to an accused. The Court ordered that, in the event of his arrest, the applicant be granted anticipatory bail for a limited period, until January 3, 2022, subject to certain special conditions. Furthermore, the Court stated that the usual reasons for anticipatory bail have not been found by it and that the claimant is free to approach the Court again in modified circumstances if so advised.