The High Court of Delhi recently set aside an order of grant of bail, observing that such orders can be cancelled to prevent miscarriage of justice, if they are based on irrelevant material,
“This Court is conscious that cancellation of bail is a serious matter. Bail once granted can be cancelled only when there exist very cogent and overwhelming circumstances. It is settled law that parameters for grant of bail and cancellation of bail are different. However, if the Trial Court while granting bail acts on irrelevant materials, bail can be cancelled. The bail can be cancelled even in cases where the order granting bail suffers from serious infirmities resulting in miscarriage of justice. If the Court granting bail ignores relevant materials indicating prima facie involvement of the accused or takes into account irrelevant material, which has no relevance to the question of grant of bail to the accused, the High Court would be justified in cancelling the bail,” Justice S.P. Garg observed.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by one Mr. Rohit Bansal, challenging an order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, wherein the Court had granted regular bail to one Mr. Anil Yadav. Mr. Yadav, along with a few others, had been arrested for having attacked and assaulted Mr. Bansal and his friends after a fight at the club. One of the victims was beaten to death, while the others had sustained multiple injuries.
The accused persons had thereafter been charged with offences punishable under Sections 302 (punishment for murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Bail was subsequently granted to Mr. Yadav, and the others on parity, relying on the CCTV footage of the brawl.
The High Court, however, opined that the lower Court had wrongly placed strong reliance on the CCTV footage to find that Mr. Yadav was not involved in the incident. The Court observed that the conclusion arrived at by the lower Court to grant bail was “presumptive”, despite the fact that at the stage of granting bail, a minute examination of evidence and elaborate documentation of the merits of the case was not to be undertaken.
Justice Garg further observed that the lower Court had failed to take into consideration the aspect that the offence committed was heinous in nature, and that there was every likelihood that Mr. Yadav could misuse the liberty and threaten witnesses. It went on to opine that the fact that Mr. Yadav had been in custody for sixteen months was “not a valid consideration to grant bail to ‘the respondent’ considering the gravity of the offence”.
Thereafter, setting aside the order of bail, which was granted on the basis of certain discrepancies, the Court observed, “Such orders are against the well recognized principles underlying the power to grant bail. Such orders are legally infirm and vulnerable leading to miscarriage of justice and absence of supervening circumstances such as the propensity of the accused to temper with the evidence, to flee from justice etc. would not deter the Court from cancelling the bail.”
Read the Judgment here.