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Monday, January 12, 2015

u/s 420, 406, 423, 424 r/w Section 34 IPC - Anticipatory bail - Since the transaction is in the nature of commercial transaction and since the appellant has also shown his bonafide by depositing rupees one crore, pending further investigation, in our view, anticipatory bail could be granted to the appellant.= CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 2446-2447 OF 2014 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 3527-3528/2014) RAKESH BABAN BORHADE ..Appellant Versus STATE OF MAHARASHTRA & ANR. ..Respondents


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS. 2446-2447 OF 2014
               (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) Nos. 3527-3528/2014)

RAKESH BABAN BORHADE                           ..Appellant


STATE OF MAHARASHTRA & ANR.                 ..Respondents

                                  O R D E R


Leave granted.
2.          These  appeals  by  special  leave  challenge  the  Order  dated
1.4.2014 passed by the Bombay High Court,  in and by which, the  High  Court
dismissed the anticipatory bail applications filed by  the  appellant  while
granting  anticipatory bail to two other persons (Suresh Vallabhji Vora  and
 Rajnikant  N. Parekh) arrayed as accused in the  same  case.
3.           Case of the prosecution  arises  out  of  a  private  complaint
filed by M/s. Merit Magnum  Construction  alleging  commission  of  offences
against the appellant and other accused u/s 420, 406, 423, 424  r/w  Section
34 IPC wherein directions were issued by the Magistrate u/s 156 (3)  Cr.P.C.
for proper investigation.  Case of the complainant is  that  on  21.12.2005,
the seven companies through their Directors entered  into  a  Memorandum  of
Understanding (MOU) to sell the rights of their land to  the  complainant  -
M/s. Merit Magnum Construction, formerly M/s Vimal Builders. Till 2006,  the
complainant is said to have paid a  sum  of  Rs.7,22,12,256/-  to  the  said
companies.  It  is  alleged  that  inspite  of   the   timely   payment   of
Rs.7,22,12,256/-,  the  accused  persons  did  not  transfer  the  lands  as
promised in the MOU.  It is the case of  the  complainant  that  during  the
period from 2005 to April 2013, the Directors and shareholders of the  above
mentioned seven companies– Suresh V.  Vora,  Rajnikant  N.  Parekh  and  the
appellant– Rakesh  Baban  Borhade  with  common  intention  to  deceive  the
complainant company avoided transferring ownership rights, interest,  shares
and related documents to  the  complainant  company  and  also  deliberately
suppressed several transactions relating to the property prior to MOU.
4.          The Sessions Court dismissed the anticipatory  bail  application
filed by the appellant and  other  accused.   Aggrieved  by  the  same,  the
accused persons moved the High Court, which vide its  impugned  order  dated
1.4.2014 while granting bail to the other  accused  persons,  dismissed  the
application of the appellant. The appellant  is  before  us,  assailing  the
correctness of the impugned order.
5.          Mr.  Ravindra  Shrivastava,   learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the
appellant contended that the appellant became Director of Alpha  Omega  Home
Fund Pvt. Ltd. only in November 2010 and that he was not a party to the  MOU
dated 21.12.2005 as at that  time   he  was  neither  a  shareholder  nor  a
director of the said seven companies.  Learned senior counsel has drawn  our
attention to the challans and cheques at pages 283-288 of the SLP  paperbook
and submitted that those cheques were  meant  for  the  companies  mentioned
therein and the appellant was not a beneficiary of those  cheques.   It  was
urged that in any event, entire case is based on documentary evidence  which
is in the form of MOU dated 21.12.2005 and the  registered  sale  agreements
and bank cheques and challans and hence, the custody  of  the  appellant  is
not at all required and  the  High  Court  was  not  justified  in  refusing
anticipatory bail to the appellant.
6.          Mr. Shekhar Naphade,  learned  Senior  Counsel  for  the  second
respondent submitted that to unearth the trail of the transactions  and  the
money received by the appellant, a thorough interrogation is  necessary  and
the High Court rightly declined anticipatory bail to the appellant.
7.          We have considered the submissions of the  learned  counsel  for
the appearing parties and perused the impugned order and  the  materials  on
8.          Sub-section (1) of Section  438  has  been  amended  by  Cr.P.C.
(Amendment) Act 2005 (Act 25 of 2005), by  which  old  sub-section  (1)  has
been substituted by new  sub-sections  (1),  (1A)  and  (1B).   The  guiding
factors for grant of anticipatory bail have been  mentioned  in  sub-section
(1) of Section 438 itself.  The Court would  grant  or  refuse  anticipatory
bail after taking into consideration the following factors, namely:-
the nature and gravity of the accusation;

the antecedents of the applicant including the fact as  to  whether  he  has
previously undergone imprisonment on conviction by a  Court  in  respect  of
any cognizable offence;

the possibility  of the applicant to flee from justice; and

where the  accusation  has  been  made  with  the  object  of  injuring   or
humiliating  the applicant by having him so arrested.

Anticipatory bail is not to be granted as a matter of rule,  but  should  be
granted only when a special case is made out  and  the  Court  is  convinced
that the accused would not misuse  his  liberty.   After  analysing  various
judgments and guidelines  in  Siddharam  Satlingappa  Mhetre  vs.  State  of
Maharashtra and Ors., (2011) 1  SCC  694,  this  Court  has  enumerated  the
parameters that can be taken into consideration by the courts while  dealing
with the anticipatory bail.
9.           In  the  light  of  the  parameters  laid  down  in   Siddharam
Satlingappa Mhetre’s case, we  have  considered  rival  contentions  of  the
parties.   The  dispute  between  the  parties  revolves  around  MOU  dated
21.12.2005 and the previous MOU dated 3.2.2005.  The  dispute  is  purely  a
business transaction based on the said MOUs.  According  to  the  appellant-
accused, he sold the land belonging to his  father  in  Survey  No.75/18  to
M/s. Siddhivinayak Enterprises  by  sale  deed  dated  31.12.2007  as  legal
representative of his father and there is  no  illegality  involved  in  it.
Whether the appellant-accused has sold the property  to  M/s.  Siddhivinayak
Enterprises in his capacity as  the  legal  heir  of  his  father  or  as  a
representative of the company and whether there was any dishonest  intention
to cheat the complainant remains to be seen only  when  the  parties  adduce
oral and documentary evidence.
10.          When the Special Leave Petitions came up for hearing, by  order
dated 9.5.2014 interim protection from arrest was granted to the  appellant-
accused  and  without  prejudice  to  the  contentions,  the  appellant  was
directed to deposit a sum of  rupees  one  crore  in  the  Registry  of  the
Supreme Court and in  compliance  of  the  said  order,  the  appellant  has
deposited rupees one crore. Since  the  transaction  is  in  the  nature  of
commercial transaction and since the appellant has also shown  his  bonafide
by depositing rupees one crore, pending further investigation, in our  view,
anticipatory bail could be granted to the appellant.
11.         In the result, these appeals are allowed and  the  appellant  is
granted anticipatory bail on his furnishing a personal bond  of  Rs.25,000/-
with two sureties of the like  amount  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  trial
court.  The  appellant  shall  co-operate  with  the  investigating  agency.
Without prejudice to the contention of the parties,  the  complainant-second
respondent (M/s.Merit Magnum Construction) is permitted to  withdraw  rupees
one crore deposited by the appellant in this Court.  Withdrawal of the  said
amount of  rupees one  crore by the second respondent shall  be  subject  to
the  result  of  pending  litigation  between  the  parties  or  any   other
litigation  contemplated  by  the  parties  pertaining  to  the  MOU   dated
21.12.2005.  The appeals stand disposed of accordingly.
                                                           (V. Gopala Gowda)

                                                              (R. Banumathi)
New Delhi;
November 19, 2014

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