Hon’ble Bench comprising Hon’ble justice Vineet Saranand Hon’ble justice Dinesh Maheshwari in a special leave to appeal against the order and judgment of Hon’ble Bombay high court held that “keeping in view that the petitioner in the instant case has undergone more than half of the sentence which could be awarded if convicted can be considered to be a released on bail.”
In the instant case petitioner Pawandeep Singh Mahendrasingh Kohli who is charged under sections 408, 409 read with section 34 of Indian penal code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as ‘IPC, 1860’ ) initially was further charge-sheeted under section 409, 406, 420, 468, 471, 120-B, 109 read with section 34 of IPC, 1860 and under section 13(1)(c) read with section 13(2)of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Subsequently, on an application for bail under section 437-A of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Cr. P.C, 1973”) in Hon’ble Bombay High court on the contention that petitioner has undergone more than half of the maximum sentence which could be awarded in the offense specified Hon’ble Bombay high court dismissed the bail application stating that “though the provision of section 437-A Cr. P.C, 1973 mentioned the word ‘shall’ the proviso to section 437-A Cr. P.C, 1973 gave discretion to court for granting bail on recording the reason for non-granting .”
Further, the Hon’ble court gave a reason that “When huge public money has been misappropriated which is in fact in crores of rupees, the case is not made out to grant leniency by granting bail under Section 437-A of Cr. P.C, 1973”
Subsequently, aggrieved by the decision of Hon’ble Bombay high court petitioner approached the Hon’ble apex court for grant of bail through special leave of appeal. In the Hon’ble apex court learned Counsel on behalf of the petitioner contended that as an under trial petitioner is in custody for more than 5 years which is more than half of the sentence which could be awarded to him if convicted for the offense.
Moreover, learned counsel appearing for the State of Maharashtra has opposed the bail has submitted that the petitioner should not be enlarged on bail considering the charges leveled against the petitioner relating to economic offenses.