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Judiciary

Accused not to be forced to make self incriminating statement on threat to withdraw protection from arrest: SC [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      11 March, 2024 01:16 PM      0 Comments
Accused not to be forced to make self incriminating statement on threat to withdraw protection from arrest SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has said an accused in a criminal case cannot be threatened to make self incriminating statement or interim protection granted to him would be withdrawn.

"An accused, while joining investigation as a condition for remaining enlarged on bail, is not expected to make self incriminating statements under the threat that the State shall seek withdrawal of such interim protection," a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar said.

The court was hearing a plea for anticipatory bail by Bijender, a junior engineer.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the petitioner, challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court's order, denying him bail.

The state government opposed the plea saying the petitioner had on February 10, 2024, joined the investigation but did not cooperate with the police nor got recovered the amount of bribe received by him nor disclosed the other facts of this case properly.

It said the custodial interrogation of petitioner/accused is required in the present case for thorough investigation.

"We cannot treat the behaviour attributed to the appellant to be instances of non-cooperation justifying dismissal of his appeal for pre-arrest bail," the bench said.

The court set aside the High Court's order rejecting anticipatory bail to Bijender in the case related to corruption in construction and upgradation of a building as 'green building' for municipal corporation at Sonepat in Haryana.

The allegations against the appellant primarily related to taking a bribe to sign the proposal to enhance the cost estimate for upgrading a building of the municipal corporation, Sonepat, to a ‘green building’. The municipal corporation alleged that such exercise led to inflating of the tender value.

The court had granted interim protection to the appellant on February 5, 2024, subject to him joining the investigation.

In its order on March 6, the court said it was concerned with detention of the appellant at the investigation stage.

"We are not testing the legality of the case instituted against him. We do not find any reason for custodial interrogation of the appellant. There is no aggravating factor either, which would justify his detention at the investigation stage," the bench said.

The court allowed advance bail to the petitioner in the FIR registered on June 22, 2022 at Faridabad.

[Read Order]



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