SC To Consider If Victim Can Withdraw Money Deposited By Accused As Condition For Bail

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The Supreme Court has issued notice on a special leave petition filed against a Bombay High Court order that declined the prayer of a victim of a crime to allow the withdrawal of amount deposited by the accused as condition for securing pre-arrest bail.

The Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail to the accused in the criminal case on the condition that he should deposit the amount of Rs.10,83,000 in a nationalized bank. The accused deposited the amount and secured pre-arrest bail.

In this context, complainant, filed an application under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure, seeking to withdraw the amount deposited by the accused. Complainant alleged that  amount lawfully belonged to him, and he, being the victim of the crime, was entitled to it and the trial of the case might take years to complete.

If the police had seized the account of the accused under Section 102 CrPC, the victims can seek withdrawal of money from it by invoking Section 457 of CrPC after filling of chargesheet in view of the judgment of Supreme Court Teesta Atul Setalvad V State of Gujarat AIR 2018 SC 27; however, that option is not given for amounts voluntarily deposited by an accused, the SLP states. This discrimination, according to the petitioner, is unjust, as the complainant is made to wait till the completion of trial to get the money cheated out of him, which may take several years.

The petition has also cited the decision of SC in Rakesh Baban Barhode vs State of Maharashtra (2015) 2 SCC 313, where the Court had allowed the complainant in that case to withdraw the amount deposited by the accused as condition for bail, subject to the result of the case.

“It is submitted that the Hon’ble High Court has failed to consider that the amount deposited with the Registry rightly belongs to the petitioner and the denial of the same would amount to injustice to the victim who has been cheated and made to suffer at the hands of the builder”, stated the petition drafted by Advocate Nilesh Tribhuvan and filed through Advocate Anand Landge.