Mumbai: Observing that an accused cannot be made to suffer on account of a lapse committed by counsel, the Bombay High Court has granted pre-arrest bail to a Dubai resident in a 2022 case registered with the Santacruz police station.
Justice Bharati Dangre granted pre-arrest bail to Nagma Dar observing, “A party cannot be made to suffer on account of a lapse committed by counsel, I deem it appropriate to restore the application.”
After restoring the pre-arrest bail plea of Dar, the HC granted her protection saying that in case of arrest, she is to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000.
Initial denial of anticipatory bail
Dar had approached HC seeking anticipatory bail in a cheating case filed by one India-born British businessman Shaheen Chisti last year. According to the complaint, Christi paid Rs9 crore to Dar at a city hotel for business.
Initially, Dar had filed anticipatory bail application (ABA) last year. However, Justice Dangre, in October 2022, had expressed that she was not inclined to grant relief. Hence, Dar’s advocate withdrew the same despite her clear instructions to get an order, even if it was of rejection.
Appeal to Supreme Court and directions to approach HC
Dar then approached the Supreme Court, which refused to grant relief in January but remarked that she was free to approach HC for recall of the October order.
Fresh application for anticipatory bail
Dar filed fresh ABA through advocate Sana Raees Khan seeking protection from arrest. She contended that the case was a counter blast of a case filed by her. In fact, as per their contract, Chisti was to pay Rs 80 lakh a month. Further, Dar was not in Mumbai at the time of alleged offence. Her passport clearly shows that between January and August 2021, she was in Dubai.
Court's decision to grant pre-arrest bail
Khan argued that Dar is a resident of Dubai and hence as per section 188 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), FIR is not maintainable against her. As per section 188, when an offence is committed outside India by a citizen of India, whether on the high seas or elsewhere; approval had to be taken from the Central Government. In this case, no such permission was taken.
Also, she pointed out that two of the co-accused have already been granted relief following settlement between parties. Pending litigation, the parties are in the process to settling their dispute. Hence, the HC granted protection to Dar.