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S. Lingesh v/s The State Rep. by the Inspector of Police, Chennai & Another

    Crl. R.C. No. 956 of 2022
    Decided On, 25 August 2022
    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
    For the Petitioner: A.R.L. Sunderesan for J. Lingeswaran, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1, S. Vinoth Kumar, Government Advocate (Crl. Side), R2, P.R. Thiruneelakandan, Advocate.

Judgment Text
(Prayer: Criminal Revision Case filed under Section 397 read with 401 Code of Criminal Procedure, to set aside the order passed on 29.06.2022 in Crl.M.P.No.16585 of 2022 in CNR No.TNCHOF-026206-2021 of the learned CCB, CBCID Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai and to return the passport bearing No.K0728442H towards interim custody for a short period of one month for the purpose of recording his attendance with is employer on any condition that may be imposed by this Hon'ble Court.)

1.This revision is filed aggrieved by the order of the learned CCB & CBCID Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai in Crl.M.P.No.16485 of 2022, in and by which the prayer of the petitioner for return of his Passport bearing No.K0728442H was rejected by the learned Magistrate. The learned Magistrate rejected the prayer of the petitioner on the ground that the petitioner is a Singapore national and once he is allowed to go to his country, and if he does not return, in the absence of any extradition treaty, it will be extremely difficulty to seek his presence for further investigation and completion of the case.

2. Mr.A.R.L.Sunderesan, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner would submit that, the nature of the allegation in this case is that the defacto complainant supplied rice to the accused and they were having running account and the balance amount remained unpaid and hence the case. Even a perusal of the statement account between them, earlier payments have been made. Learned Senior Counsel would submit that now the accounts are disputed and that is why the payment were not made. He would further submit that the alleged compromise agreement between the parties were entered into when the petitioner was in prison.

3. He would further submit that in this case, the petitioner is an Indian origin and have also got properties in India and connections in India and therefore, the contention that he will go back and never return to India to face trial is only a mere apprehension. He would further submit that he will comply with all the other conditions such as furnishing of telephone number, letting in the whereabouts and etc so that the prosecution can keep track of him and he would further submit that he is an employee of the Singapore Army and unless and otherwise he reports in time, he will loose his job and unless he returns to Singapore in time and carries on with his avocation as well as the business, even the money cannot be paid. Learned Senior Counsel offers to deposit another sum of Rs.20 lakhs before the learned Magistrate.

4. Per contra, learned Government Advocate (Crl. Side) would submit that, when the petitioner is a foreign national, it would not be safe to permit him to travel back to his country and therefore the prayer has been rightly rejected by the learned Magistrate.

5. Mr.P.R.Thiruneelakandan, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent / defacto complainant would submit that, this is a clear act of cheating by which, after getting supply of the goods, namely rice, the petitioner has not made payment. It is with very great difficulty, the petitioner was made to come over to India and after the complaint, the petitioner, through his mother, has voluntarily entered into a compromise memo and even admitted the total liability of Rs.1,08,00,000/- and even out of the said amount, a sum of Rs.20 lakhs is paid by him and therefore, he can be permitted to go abroad, provided, he deposits the entire balance amount of Rs.88 lakhs. In any event, he would submit that since the repayment of amount is due to the defacto complainant, even a part amount offered, may be ordered to be paid out to the defacto complainant himself rather than depositing before this Court.

6. After hearing the said submissions, when this Court suggested to the learned Senior Counsel whether apart from the amount already offered, another sum of Rs.20 lakhs, can be deposited, learned Senior Counsel had instructions and agreed to the same also.

7. I have considered the rival submissions made on ether side and perused the material records of this case.

8. Though, I am in agreement with the learned Government Advocate (Crl. Side) that is a risky proposition to let the petitioner to go out to Singapore, considering the background of the parties that they are of the Indian origin and considering for the purpose the defacto complainant itself to realise the money and if only the petitioner is permitted to go and continue his avocation, the chances of realisation of the money are brighter. I am inclined to grant the prayer of the petitioner but, however, on the conditions which are to be imposed in the later part of the order.

9. In view thereof, this criminal revision is allowed on the following terms:

(i) The order of the learned CC & CBCID Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai dated 29.06.2022 in Crl.M.P.No.16585 of 2022 is set aside;

(ii) The original Passport bearing No.K0728442H of the petitioner is ordered to be returned to him. The petitioner shall submit a notarized photocopy of the Passport before the learned Magistrate;

(iii) The petitioner is also permitted to travel back to Singapore on a condition that he will again come back after ninety days from the date of departure to Singapore and report before the Investigating Officer and participate in the enquiry and again come back and report if necessary, as insisted by the Investigating Officer in this regard with such periodical intervals so as to enable the petitioner also to travel and work in his avocation and also continue his business and at the same time to carry out the investigation;

(iv) The petitioner shall deposit the forthwith sum of Rs.20 lakhs to the credit of CCB.Cr.No.70 of 2022 on the file of the CCB & CBCID Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, Chennai prior to the return of the passport;

(v) The petitioner shall inform the address and his whereabouts in Singapore to the Investigating Officer and he is also to furnish the telephone numbers and Email ID and other KYC details to the Investigating Officer. He shall not, from the said address, move on to any other address and if there is any change of address, he should inform the Investigating Off

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icer; (vi) Then, the petitioner shall deposit another sum of Rs.20 lakhs upon his return from Singapore, within a period of thirty days of his return. On such deposit, the Trial Court is requested to invest the same into interest bearing deposit. (vii) If the petitioner fails to comply with any of the conditions, the amount deposited will be paid out to the complainant without insisting upon any formal application, but, only upon verification of the identity of the complainant and also the respondent police will be entitled to take such further steps to bring back the petitioner to face trial, and the petitioner passport shall be seized again and produced before the Trial Court.