The Allahabad High Court has cancelled the bail granted to an accused for not coming to the court with clean hands and noted that any order taken by suppressing facts is bad and cannot be sustained.

A Single Bench of Justice Krishan Pahal held, “The third anticipatory bail itself being based on the second anticipatory bail order dated 1.11.2021 is itself bad in the eyes of law, as such, it cannot be sustained. The said orders dated 1.11.2021 and 25.2.2022 are whimsical and perverse. Any order taken by suppressing facts is bad and cannot be sustained. As the very foundation is weak, any subsequent order based on it also cannot be accorded any sanctity and is also unsustainable. The judgements referred by learned counsel for the opposite party no. 2 do not apply to the present case as he has not come to the court with clean hands and has taken the orders by concealing the facts, as such, the order dated 25.2.2022 is set aside and quashed.”

The Bench further noted that as per the clean hands doctrine, one “who comes into equity must come with clean hands” and such doctrine requires the court to deny equitable relief to a party having violated good faith with respect to the subject of the claim.

Advocate Imran Ullah appeared for the applicant while AGA V.K.S. Parmar and Advocate Nand Lal Pandey appeared for the opposite parties.

In this case, an instant bail cancellation application was filed on behalf of the applicant (complainant) with the prayer to cancel the bail granted to the accused by the court concerned under Sections 147, 420, 467, 468, 471, 387, 447, 504, and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. The applicant had lodged an FIR stating that she had purchased a plot from its original owner and adjacent to it, the accused had purchased a plot of dimension 30 x 72 ft. in resale.

Subsequently, the accused had illegally taken possession on the part of the land of the applicant and had even undertaken illegal construction and thereafter, on being objected by the applicant, the accused threatened her along with his associates and even demanded a ransom of Rs. 15 lakhs. The said illegal construction was ordered to be demolished by the Prayagraj Development Authority as a result of which the accused prepared forged documents and again demanded ransom from the applicant.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case observed, “The clean hands doctrine is an affirmative defense that the defendant may claim as has been held in Holy Family Catholic School v. Boley16 , that the plaintiff’s abuse of the account necessitated a finding that the plaintiff had "unclean hands" and that requiring the defendant to continue granting relief would be against good conscience.”

Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea and granted two weeks’ time to the accused to surrender before the concerned Trial Court.

Cause Title- Shanti Rani Agarwal v. State of U.P. and Another (Neutral Citation: 2023:AHC:120267)

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