Asia & Australia

September 29, 2017

No red corner notice can be used to rearrest for the same crime, if Superior court grants mail: Bombay HC

Bombay High Court

The bail application of a man arrested from the Mumbai international airport pursuant to a red corner notice issued against him was rejected by the Bombay High Court, terming it illegal.

Navinchandra Gangadhar Hegde was accused of offences under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 170 (personating a public servant), 183 (resistance to taking of property by lawful authority of a public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 120 B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the criminal writ petition was heard by Justice AM Badar.

On July 26, 2016, he was Hegde was arrested and bought before the metropolitan magistrate, who rejected his application for bail. Post that, an application under Section 439 of the CrPC was filed before the sessions court and in an order dated September 8, 2016, Hegde's application for bail was allowed with a surety of Rs. 50000. On August 19, 2017, he was arrested from the international airport, found to be traveling abroad.

Upon being produced before the metropolitan magistrate, there was opposition from the additional public prosecutor on the bail of the accused claiming that he was arrested pursuant to a red corner notice issued against him. Then, his bail application was rejected on the basis that Hegde was attempting to travel abroad without prior permission from the metropolitan magistrate.

Senior Advocate Shirish Gupte, who appeared for the accused, contended that once a superior court had granted bail to the accused without imposing any restrictions on his travel abroad, he could not be arrested for a red corner notice issued during the course of investigation.

Referring to the order of the Court of Sessions granting bail to the accused, Justice Badar noted: '’The Red Corner look out notice is not pertaining to some other crime but it is in respect of the very same crime bearing no.177 of 2016 Once the petitioner is arrested in the said crime, red corner notice issued at some prior stage cannot be made use to re-arrest the petitioner, despite the judicial order directing his released on bail. The police, in fact, committed breach of order releasing the petitioner on bail by re-arresting him on the pretext of the alleged Red Corner Notice issued during investigation.

Further illegality seems to have been committed by the learned Metropolitan Magistrate while passing the order dated 19th August 2017 rejecting bail application filed by the petitioner after his rearrest in pursuant to so-called Red Corner Notice by the police. The learned Metropolitan Magistrate committed error of law in holding that the petitioner ought to have sought permission of the Metropolitan Magistrate prior to travelling abroad"

Thus, the accused was released on bail, as per the courts orders.

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