Delhi High Court Grants Bail in Criminal Breach of Trust Case Due to Lack of Evidence and Trial Delay

LI Network

Published on: October 18, 2023 at 16:15 IST

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to an accused in a criminal breach of trust case in which offenses punishable under section 408/411 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were registered.

The reason for granting bail was the lack of recovery of stolen property and undue delay in the trial. Justice Vikas Mahajan, presiding over a Single Judge Bench, noted that the only offense invoked against the petitioner was under section 408 IPC.

The offense under Section 411 IPC could not be applied to the petitioner as there was no allegation that he dishonestly received the stolen property.

The bench further highlighted that no recovery was made from the petitioner, and only 14 grams of gold were recovered from another individual, Dhanaji Maeitkari, who claimed that the gold was sold to him by the petitioner. However, this claim was yet to be established. Additionally, despite the petitioner’s residence being searched, and the petitioner spending nine days in police custody, no recovery was made at his instance.

The case arose from a complaint accusing the petitioner and another person of cheating, criminal breach of trust, dishonestly receiving stolen property, and criminal conspiracy. It was alleged that the petitioner, who was seeking a job, received a 1kg brick of 24-carat gold from a supplier but did not return it and left his job. The petitioner was later found to have sold the gold brick and fled to his hometown.

The Bench emphasized that the probative value of the CCTV footage showing the petitioner allegedly taking cash from his bag should be considered by the Trial Court during the trial. It refrained from making comments that could prejudice the case at this stage.

The Bench further noted that there was no indication that the petitioner had a criminal record, and other factors for granting bail were considered. It stressed that judicial custody’s purpose is not punitive but to secure the accused’s presence during the trial.

Given that the petitioner had been in judicial custody for an extended period, and the trial was unlikely to conclude soon with 14 witnesses cited by the prosecution, the High Court granted regular bail to the petitioner.

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