Socio-economic offences need to be considered seriously, the bench said.
When the seriousness of the offence is such, the mere fact that he was in jail for however long time should not be the concern of the Courts, the Supreme Court has said, while holding that bail cannot be granted on the sole ground that accused was in custody for a long time.
A bench comprising Justice NV Ramana and Justice Prafulla C Pant set aside a Patna High Court order, which had granted bail to Bihar toppers’ scam accused Amit Kumar @ Bacha Rai. In a brief order, the high court, while granting bail, relied on the fact that the accused has already been in custody for a long time.
The court, taking into account the allegations levelled against the accused, observed that if any undeserving candidate is allowed to top exams by corrupt means, not only will the society be deprived of deserving candidates, but it will be unfair for those students who have honestly worked hard for one whole year and are ultimately disentitled to a good rank by fraudulent practices prevalent in those examinations.
“It is well settled that socio-economic offences constitute a class apart and need to be visited with a different approach in the matter of bail. Usually socio-economic offence has deep-rooted conspiracies affecting the moral fiber of the society and causing irreparable harm, and need to be considered seriously,” the bench said.
Holding that it is not advisable to release the accused as of now, the bench said it also cannot approve the high court direction to investigating authority to file the charge sheet within a month, since the case involves almost 32 accused and a complex modus operandi.
Read the Judgment here.