Accused can give to FD, directly transfer money for bail: Punjab and Haryana HC | Chandigarh News

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CHANDIGARH: The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has ordered that a defendant, released on bail in any case registered against him, be given the choice of posting sureties or handing over a fixed deposit (FD), for guarantee his release due to “reducing the dependence of individuals on communities”.
According to common practice, the accused must provide bail from local people to ensure that he will not evade the law and that he will be tried if necessary after his release on bail.
“The pragmatic approach is that, when granting bail with surety, the ‘court’ and ‘arresting officer’ should give the accused the option of posting sureties or posting a fixed deposit or direct electronic money transfer where such a facility is available., or create a lien on his bank account. The option lies with the defendant to choose between sureties and deposits and not with the court or to the arresting officer,” HC said.
“Generation ‘Z’ wouldn’t like to vouch for someone or ask a stranger to vouch for them. In this context, young people don’t seem inclined to accept favors or come back. Given this, Asking someone to vouch might be looking for favors and not appealing to the younger generation,” HC Judge Anoop Chitkara said while suspending the sentence of a convict in the NDPS case.
The appellant, Mahidul Sheikh, a resident of West Bengal, convicted of possession of 220 grams of heroin (diacetylmorphine), was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh, had approached the HC for get a suspended sentence. His lawyer argued that the 220 gram quantity of heroin (diacetylmorphine) is less than the commercial quantity and therefore the rigors of section 37 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 (Act NDPS) do not apply, and the application for a suspended sentence should be considered similar to general offenses. It was further clarified that the amount in question is intermediate, while the Court pronounced the maximum sentence apart from the confiscation of the money recovered from the house.
The attorney representing the state opposed the suspension of the sentence and argued that posting bail encourages drug dealers and that the threat of drugs is spreading day by day. It has also been argued that the convict resides in a remote location and if the appeal is denied, it would be difficult to arrest him if he does not surrender to face the sentence.
However, lawyer Jasdev Singh Mehndiratta, who had assisted the HC as an amicus curiae, argued that not suspending the sentence solely because the convicted person is from a distant state would violate Article 21 of the the Indian Constitution, which extends to all persons residing anywhere in India and encompasses even a foreigner.
Amicus argued that given the advent of online identification, while granting bail with surety, the “court” or “arresting officer” should give the accused a choice to post bonds or pay a fixed deposit, implicitly informing the accused of the CrPC. Section 445.
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