The High Court of Punjab & Haryana has dismissed the Bail appeal of a Tarn Taran (Punjab) resident, accused of distillation of illicit liquor at his home. The FIR against accused Balwinder Singh was registered on July 14 at Khalra Police Station of the district.
Police said they raided his home on a tip-off, but Singh escaped away from the scene. The Police had recovered 9 can-fills of illicit liquor, which is around 535 bottles. Police had also told the Court that he was habitual of these kind of offences. The petitioner is having 5 more cases of the same nature against him. The last case before the present FIR was in May 2020 only, the Police had told the Court adding that they required custodial interrogation to unearth the dimensions of the trade & also wanted to recover distillation equipment & other material. Hence, anticipatory bail not be granted to him.
The HC dismissed the Bail appeal taking note of the submission he had fled away from the spot & the Police are yet to recover the distillation equipment . If granted protection against arrest, free & fair investigation by the police would be hampered, the Court observed also taking note of the fact that there are five more cases of similar nature against him.
He had disputed that the case against him was fabricated & that nothing was recovered from his premise. He had claimed that illicit liquor was planted as no local resident was joined as a witness during the recovery.
The HC observed that an accused as a citizen also has a right to life & liberty. However, this right can very well be curtailed in accordance with the procedure established by law. In case of criminal investigation, the normal procedure prescribed for curtailing the right to life & liberty, is that the investigating officer can arrest the accused even without warrant. The court has extraordinary power to protect an innocent person. However, this power has to be exercised by the courts with due circumspection, it added.