Bail Is Not a License for Committing More Crimes Says Karnataka High Court

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The Karnataka High Court said that Bail is not a license for committing more crimes. The statement was based upon the case of Aluka Sandra Orewa vs State of Karnataka and ors wherein it was said that the right to claim bail becomes circumscribed if an accused repeatedly commits a bailable offence when out on bail.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar has held,

Bail is not a license to commit any number of crimes. Though bail is related to the liberty of a person, misuse of liberty is not justifiable…The right to claim bail under section 436 of Cr.P.C becomes circumscribed when an accused repeatedly commits bailable offence/s.”

The above observations have made when a bail petition was filed by a foreign national woman, Aluka Sandra alias Benny, who was accused of offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology Act (IT Act and as per the complaint filed by one Pavithra D, it was alleged that she had received messages about the withdrawal of Rs. 10,000 nine times from her bank account.

The Bank after an inquiry found that an amount of Rs.90,000 had been withdrawn from her bank account at an ATM counter by the petitioner. As per the allegations, the accused had collected the data of Pavithra’s ATM Card by the help of a device called a skimmer. Using that data, she forged an ATM Card and then withdrew money from the informant’s bank account.

The bail application was rejected by the sessions court based on the fact that the offence under Section 420 of IPC is non-bailable and that the petitioner had an involvement in 60 similar offences.

After hearing the argument from both sides, the court held that

As a concomitant to this analysis, it may be stated that a person being on bail in relation to available offence and applies for bail having again committed a bailable offence cannot as a matter of right claim bail. Any attempt to liberally interpret the right in this manner without having an idea of far-reaching consequences will have a disastrous effect on the society or a system, as for instance how the case on hand may adversely affect the banking system. Therefore, the right to claim bail under section 436 of Cr.P.C becomes circumscribed when an accused repeatedly commits bailable offence/s,”

Despite this ruling, the court has granted bail to the petitioner saying that she is a woman and her passport and Visa had already been seized.


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