Gali Janardhan Reddy Versus The State of Andhra Pradesh

Gali Janardhan Reddy  Versus The State of Andhra Pradesh 

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 528 OF 2020
IN
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 7053 OF 2013
Gali Janardhan Reddy       ..Appellant (S)
Versus
The State of Andhra Pradesh       ..Respondent (S)
WITH 
DIARY NO. 11949 OF 2021
Gali Janardhan Reddy       ..Appellant (S)
Versus
The State of Andhra Pradesh       ..Respondent (S)
O R D E R
M. R. Shah, J.
1. Present application has been preferred by the applicant
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–   original   accused   for   an   appropriate   order   of
modification   of   condition   No.(c)  of   the   order   dated
28.01.2015   passed   by   this   Court   in   Special   Leave
Petition (Cri.) No.7053/2013 to the extent permitting the
applicant to enter, stay and function in the Districts of
Bellary in Karnataka and District of Ananthapuram and
Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh. 
2. The applicant herein is the accused in RC 17(A)/2009­
CBI­HYD dated 07.12.2009 as amended on 05.09.2011,
for the offences under Sections 120(B), 420, 379, 409,
468, 411, 427 and 447 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860,
section 2 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, Rule 21 read
with   Rules   4(1),   4(1)(A)   and   23   of   the   Mines   and
Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. That,
the applicant – accused was arrested by the CBI on
05.09.2011. Prior to coming to this Court, the applicant
– accused approached the learned trial Court as well as
the High Court for the grant of regular bail on number
of occasions. The said request of the applicant – accused
was rejected inter alia on the ground that grant of bail to
the   applicant   –   accused   may   impede   fair   and
uninfluenced investigation. That, when the applicant –
accused lastly approached the High Court in the year
2013 by way of filing Criminal Petition No.3632/2013,
vide judgment and order dated 20.06.2013 , considering
the   gravity   of   the   allegations   leveled   against   the
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applicant – accused, his influential status and the CBI
indicated a reasonable apprehension that the accused is
likely to influence the investigation if enlarged on bail,
the   High   Court   rejected   the   bail   application.   The
applicant approached this Court by way of Special Leave
Petition   (Cri.)   No.7053/2013.   By   an   order   dated
20.01.2015,   the   order   which   is   sought   to   be   now
modified, this Court had released the applicant on bail
subject to following conditions:
“a) He shall surrender his passport, if not
already surrendered, to the learned Principal
Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad. If he
has   already   surrendered   his   passport   before
the learned Principal Special Judge, that fact
should also be supported by an affidavit;
b) He shall not leave the country without
the   leave   of   the   learned   Principal   Special
Judge;
c) He shall not visit the Districts of Bellary
in   Karnataka   and   District   of   Ananthapuram
and Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh;
d) He shall cooperate with the Court in the
smooth   process   of   trial   and   its   early
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conclusion;
e) He shall not directly or indirectly make
any   inducement,   threat   or   promise   to   any
person acquainted with the facts of the case so
as   to   dissuade   such   person   from   disclosing
such facts to the Court or to tamper with the
evidence;
f) He   shall   remain   present   before   the
learned Principal Special Judge on the dates
fixed for hearing of the case without fail. If he
requires to remain absent, he shall take prior
permission   of   the   learned   Principal   Special
Judge   and   in   case   of   unavoidable
circumstances for remaining absent, he shall
immediately appropriately intimate the learned
Principal   Special   Judge   and   also   to   the
Superintendent, CBI and request that he may
be   permitted   to   be   present   through   the
counsel.
g) Insofar   as   the   surety   amount   is
concerned, the petitioner shall execute a bond
with   two   solvent   sureties,   in   a   sum   of
Rs.10,00,000/­ (Rupees Ten lakhs only) each.
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h) If, for any reason the petitioner fails to
comply   with   all   the   conditions   as   stipulated
above,   the   respondents   are   at   liberty   to
approach this Court for modification / recall of
the order granting bail to the petitioner.
10. The grant of bail to the petitioner shall be
subject to any other cases that are pending against
the petitioner, wherein the petitioner is yet to be
granted bail by the appropriate court(s).” 
3. Present application has been preferred by the applicant
–   accused   to   modify   and/or   delete   condition   No.(c)
reproduced   hereinabove   and   thereby   permit   him   to
enter, stay and function in the Districts of Ballery in
Karnataka   and   District   of   Ananthapuram   and
Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh.
4. At this stage it is required to be noted that in the year
2016   a   similar   request   was   made   to   delete   the
conditions that were imposed while granting bail. By an
order dated 01.07.2016, this Court dismissed the said
application, however, directed the trial Court to make an
endeavour   to   complete   the   trial   expeditiously.   That,
thereafter,   one   another   application   was   made   being
Criminal   Miscellaneous   Petition   No.6534/2017   for
modification   of   the   condition   imposed   while   granting
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bail which came to be rejected by this Court vide order
dated   09.05.2017.   That,   thereafter,   the   present
application   has   been   preferred.   By   an   order   dated
19.08.2021, this Court while adjourning the application
to   third   week   of   November,   2021,   has   modified   and
substituted the condition No.(c) as under: 
“(c)As and when the petitioner proposes to
visit   any   of   the   following   districts,   being
District   Ballery   in   Karnataka   and
Ananthapuram   and   Cuddapah   in   Andhra
Pradesh, he shall give prior intimation to the
Superintendent   of   Police   of   the   concerned
district of the date when he proposes to go to
the   district   and   further   he   shall   also   give
prior   intimation   to   the   concerned
Superintendent of Police of the date of his
departure from the said district.”
Condition   No.(h)   imposed   in   the   order
dated 20.01.2015 is reiterated.”
This Court has also observed that the trial Court
shall   make   endeavour   to   proceed   with   the   trial
expeditiously.
5. Thereafter, the present application is notified before the
Bench for further hearing. 
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6. Ms.   Meenakshi   Arora,   learned   Senior   Advocate   has
appeared on behalf of the applicant – accused and Ms.
Madhavi Divan, learned ASG has appeared on behalf of
the respondent – CBI. 
7. Ms.   Meenakshi   Arora,   learned   Senior   Advocate
appearing for the applicant has vehemently submitted
that after the initial order was passed by this Court in
the year 2015 granting bail on the conditions mentioned
in the said order, the applicant has visited Bellary on 8
to 9 occasions pursuant to the permissions granted by
this Court and during the said visits, the applicant has
never violated any of the conditions imposed by this
Court in the bail order. It is submitted that in past more
than 6 to 7 years since the bail has been granted, the
applicant   has   not   violated   any   of   the   conditions   as
imposed. It is submitted that the trial has not proceeded
further for which the applicant is not at all responsible.
It   is   submitted   that   the   delay   in   the   trial   is   not
attributable to the applicant. It is, therefore, requested
to modify the condition No.(c) as mentioned in the order
dated  20.01.2015  and   permit  the   applicant   to   enter,
stay   and   function   in   the   Districts   of   Bellary   in
Karnataka   and   District   of   Ananthapuram   and
Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh. 
7.1 In the alternative it is prayed to continue modification of
condition No.(c)  as per the order passed by this Court
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on 19.08.2021. 
8. Present   application   is   vehemently   opposed   by   Ms.
Madhavi Divan, learned ASG. It is vehemently submitted
that CBI has strong apprehension that if the condition
No.(c)  so   imposed   by   this   Court   in   the   order   dated
20.01.2015   is   modified   and/or   substituted,   the
applicant   may   influence   the   witnesses   which   may
ultimately affect the trial and the judicial process. It is
submitted that in past, attempts were made to influence
even the Judicial Officers which is already on record. It
is   submitted   that   despite   the   orders   passed   by   this
Court, the trial is not proceeding because of the conduct
on the part of the accused persons by filing one after
another discharge applications. 
9. Ms. Madhavi Divan, learned ASG has submitted that
therefore   in   case  condition   No.(c)  of   the  order   dated
20.01.2015 is modified, there would be serious threat to
the witnesses because of the power and influence that
the applicant is having. It is submitted that still as and
when there is any emergency the applicant may still
move this Court for appropriate permission which may
be considered on case to case basis and therefore, to
that extent, the interest of the applicant can be taken
care of. 
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10. In   response,   Ms.   Meenakshi   Arora,   learned   Senior
Advocate in the alternative has submitted that as the
daughter of the applicant has recently delivered a child
at Bengaluru and now she is at Bellary, the applicant
may be permitted to visit and stay at Bellary atleast for
a period of four weeks to be with his daughter. 
11. On the aforesaid alternative prayer, Ms. Madhavi Divan,
learned ASG has pointed out that in fact the daughter of
the  applicant had delivered the child at Bengaluru and
she was never at Bellary. It is submitted that only after
present   application   was   heard   by   this   Court   on
29.09.2022, in the evening the daughter of the applicant
is shifted to Bellary. Therefore, it is prayed to consider
the aforesaid conduct on the part of the applicant. 
12. We have heard Ms. Meenakshi Arora, learned Senior
Advocate appearing for the applicant and Ms. Madhavi
Divan, learned ASG appearing on behalf of the CBI at
length. We have considered the submissions made on
behalf of the respective parties. We have considered the
material on record. 
13. The applicant is facing the trial for very serious offences
punishable under Sections 120(B), 420, 379, 409, 468,
411,   427   and   447   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code,   1860,
section 2 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, Rule 21 read
with   Rules   4(1),   4(1)(A)   and   23   of   the   Mines   and
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Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The
investigation was carried out by the CBI. Most of the
witnesses are from Bellary in Karnataka and District of
Ananthapuram   and   Cuddapah   in   Andhra   Pradesh.
Taking into consideration the apprehension on the part
of the CBI that if the applicant is allowed to enter, stay
and function in the Districts of Bellary in Karnataka and
District   of   Ananthapuram   and   Cuddapah   in   Andhra
Pradesh and that there are all possibilities of applicant
influencing and/or tampering with the witnesses, this
Court   while   granting   bail   imposed   condition   No.(c)
restraining the applicant from entering into the Districts
of Bellary in Karnataka and District of Ananthapuram
and   Cuddapah   in   Andhra   Pradesh.   In   past,   the
apprehensions   are   proved   to   be   true   and   even   the
judicial officers were influenced / tried to be influenced.
There is a serious apprehension on the part of the CBI /
investigating agency that if condition No.(c)  is relaxed
and/or   modified   and/or   substituted,   there   would   be
threat   to   the   witnesses   because   of   the   power   and
influence   that   the   applicant   is   having.   It   is   very
unfortunate that even after a period of 11 years of filing
the FIR and despite the observations made by this Court
directing   the   trial   to   be   expedited,   the   trial   has   not
begun. From the material on record, it appears that the
trial has not begun on the ground that the accused / coaccused   are   filing   the   applications   for   discharge   one
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after another, due to which the trial has not begun. In a
case like this, it is always in the larger interest that the
trial is concluded at the earliest. Early conclusion of the
trial would enhance the faith of people in justice delivery
system. The trial must come to its logical end at the
earliest. Any attempt on the part of the accused to delay
the   trial   of  serious   offences   is   to   be   dealt   with   iron
hands.   More   the   delay,   more   the   possibilities   of
influencing   the   witnesses.   Therefore,   we   are   of   the
opinion that as despite the observations made by this
Court directing to expedite the trial, as the trial has not
begun, now, a direction is to be issued to the trial Court
to begin the trial on day to day basis and once the trial
begins the applicant – accused may be restrained from
entering into the Districts of Bellary in Karnataka and
District   of   Ananthapuram   and   Cuddapah   in   Andhra
Pradesh looking to the strong apprehension on the part
of the CBI recorded hereinabove. 
14. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above,
we   dispose   of   /   dismiss   the   present   application   for
modification / substitution of condition No.(c)  in the
order dated 28.01.2015 passed by this Court in Special
Leave Petition (Cri.) No. 7053/2013. However, we direct
as under: 
(1) Learned   trial   Court   /   Special   Court   is   hereby
directed to conduct the trial on day to day basis
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from   09.11.2022.   We   direct   the   learned   Special
Court to conclude the trial within a period of six
months from 09.11.2022 without fail;
(2) That   the   prosecution   may   examine   first,   the
witnesses from Bellary in Karnataka and District of
Ananthapuram and Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh
as   far   as   possible.   It   will   be   the   duty   of   the
investigating   agency   to   keep   all   the   witnesses
present   for   the   purpose   of   their   depositions   /
examination in chief;
(3) All the accused are hereby directed to cooperate
the learned Special Court in conclusion of the trial
at   the   earliest   and   within   the   period   stipulated
hereinabove and any attempt on the part of the
accused   to   delay   the   trial   shall   be   viewed   very
seriously;
(4) As it is reported that the daughter of the applicant
has delivered a child recently and now she is at
Bellary,   the   applicant   is   permitted   to   stay   at
Bellary upto 06.11.2022. It is specifically directed
that the applicant shall move out of Bellary and
remain out of Bellary in Karnataka and Districts of
Ananthapuram and Cuddapah in Andhra Pradesh
from 07.11.2022 till the trial is concluded.
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15. With the aforesaid directions, present application shall
stand   disposed   of.   Registry   is   directed   to   send   the
present order to the learned Special Court forthwith. 
…………………………………J.
    (M. R. SHAH)
…………………………………J.
(KRISHNA MURARI)
NEW DELHI, 
OCTOBER 10, 2022

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