Sessions court asking accused to deposit passport despite him not having any leaves HC flummoxed

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Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) A sessions court's "unusual" condition imposed on an accused asking him to deposit his passport while granting him bail despite him not having one has left the Bombay High Court's Goa bench flummoxed.

A single bench of Justice Bharat Deshpande on July 9 said when the accused sought modification of the condition, the sessions court adopted a "strange course" and directed the accused to deposit his passport in four months.

The bench said that by such an order, the sessions court was clearly mandating the accused to apply for a passport and then deposit the same.

Justice Deshpande questioned if the court was expecting the accused to first apply for a passport, procure it and then deposit the same to the police before he is allowed to be released from jail.

"While imposing the condition (to deposit passport) for grant of bail, the sessions court does not have such power to direct any person to apply for a passport, obtain it and then surrender it," the high court said.

"The unusual condition which has been imposed in the first place and thereafter, failed to modify it, clearly shows that the additional sessions judge has travelled beyond its powers," it added.

The bench quashed the condition requiring the accused to deposit his passport.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an 18-year-old man accused in an attempted murder case. He was arrested in April 2024 by the Agassaim police in Goa.

The same month, a sessions court granted him bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 along with certain other conditions like marking his attendance before the police and to deposit his passport before the court.

The youth in his plea said the fact that he does not possess a passport was mentioned to the sessions court, but the same was not considered.

The man filed an application before the sessions court seeking modification of the condition in his bail order.

However, instead of modifying the condition, the sessions court suspended the condition for four months and directed the accused to deposit the passport by then.

"The sessions court ought to have considered the application for relaxation of the condition and at the most could have directed the petitioner to deposit the passport, if any," the HC said.

"A strange course was adopted instead where the sessions court suspended the condition for a period of four months and directed the petitioner to deposit his passport within that period," the HC said. PTI SP NP