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2023 (6) TMI 982 - PATIALA HOUSE COURTS
Seeking grant of pre-arrest bail - supply of material/ goods without invoices to evade the tax - HELD THAT:- Examining the provisions of section 438 Cr.PC, perusal of the same would show that though expression “the High Court” and “the Session Court” has been given, but the provisions of section 438 Cr.PC nowhere lays down the High Court or the Court of Session where offence has been committed. Basic rule of interpretation of any provision of law is to understand the bare provision of statute with the meaning as it conveys, court cannot interpret the provision in any other manner than the meaning expresses. “The High Court” in itself does not convey the High Court within territorial jurisdiction of which offence has been committed. Had such been the intention of the legislature, there would not have been any constrain in mentioning the High Court or the Court of Session within whose territorial jurisdiction the offence has been committed.
There cannot be any denial to the general legal proposition that in view of the provisions of section 177 to 189 falling in Chapter VIII of Cr.PC, generally the court of competent jurisdiction is where the offence has been committed. As such that court generally entertain application for relief of bail etc.
There has always been divergent view of different High Courts on the question of entertaining the anticipatory bail application within the territorial jurisdiction of the court where the offence has not been committed. Section 438 being a special provision for protecting a person apprehending his arrest, such provision cannot be restricted in every possible situation to file the application only within that court - Kolkata High Court in B.R. SINHA AND ORS. VERSUS THE STATE [1981 (7) TMI 249 - CALCUTTA HIGH COURT] has taken the view that High Court within whose territorial jurisdiction person resides is competent to grant anticipatory bail, even if offence is alleged to have been committed outside its jurisdiction. Similarly, that judgment was relied upon by Karnataka High Court in L.R. NAIDU VERSUS STATE OF KARNATAKA [1983 (10) TMI 295 - KARNATAKA HIGH COURT].
In the facts of the present case no doubt the corporate office of MEPL is at Noida and the investigation has been initiated by DGGI Zonal unit Jaipur but fact remains that applicant Prashant Kumar Singh also operates through MEPL in Marketing Office of Delhi. Therefore it cannot be laid down as an absolute rule that Delhi court has no jurisdiction at all - Therefore taking into consideration the fact that accused/ applicant is ready and willing to join the investigation for furnishing all the necessary documents etc. and also for the reason that in the reply filed by the DGGI Jaipur Zonal Unit, no specific amount has been mentioned about the tax evasion.
The accused is certainly required to be protected from possible arrest till the time he joins the investigation with DGGI Jaipur Unit subject to joining the investigation as and when called upon - application disposed off.