Criminal Antecedents of Accused cannot be ignored while granting Bail; SC [Read Judgment]

Criminal Antecedents of Accused cannot be ignored while granting Bail; SC [Read Judgment]

A Two Judge Bench of Supreme Court today in Neeru Yadav v. State of UP has held that criminal antecedents of Accused cannot be totally ignored while granting Bail. The Bench was hearing an appeal against the Allahabad High Court order which granted Bail to Budhpal @ Buddhu- one of the Key Accused [Respondent;2] in a Murder Case. The High Court extended the Bail to Budhpal by applying the ‘Doctrine of parity” since all other Accused were already in Bail.

At the outset Supreme Court has clarified that it is not an appeal seeking cancellation of bail in the strictest sense. ‘It actually calls in question the legal pregnability of the order passed by the High Court. The prayer for cancellation of bail is not sought on the foundation of any kind of supervening circumstances or breach of any condition imposed by the High Court. The basic assail is to the manner in which the High Court has exercised its jurisdiction under Section 439 CrPC while admitting the accused to bail. To clarify, if it has failed to take into consideration the relevant material factors, it would make the order absolutely perverse and totally indefensible’, said the Bench.

The Counsel for the Appellant submitted to the Court that the Accused is still in jail despite the High Court’s order of bail as he is involved in so many cases. It is also submitted that despite the factum of criminal history pointed out before the High Court, it has given it a glorious ignore which the law does not countenance. From the additional affidavit filed by the State Court found that apart from the present case, there are seven cases pending against him.

Justice Dipak Mishra who wrote the Judgment pointed out that “On a perusal of the aforesaid list, it is quite vivid that the respondent no.2 is a history-sheeter and is involved in heinous offences. Having stated the facts and noting the nature of involvement of the accused in the crimes in question, there can be no scintilla of doubt to name him a “history-sheeter”. The question, therefore, arises whether in these circumstances, should the High Court have enlarged him on bail on the foundation of parity”

After re-iterating the principles relating to grant of Bail it is held as follows;

“………..This being the position of law, it is clear as cloudless sky that the High Court has totally ignored the criminal antecedents of the accused. What has weighed with the High Court is the doctrine of parity. A history-sheeter involved in the nature of crimes which we have reproduced herein above, are not minor offences so that he is not to be retained in custody, but the crimes are of heinous nature and such crimes, by no stretch of imagination, can be regarded as jejune. Such cases do create a thunder and lightening having the effect potentiality of torrential rain in an analytical mind. The law expects the judiciary to be alert while admitting these kind of accused persons to be at large and, therefore, the emphasis is on exercise of discretion judiciously and not in a whimsical manner”..

Allowing the Appeal the Court further held that “the annulment of the order passed by the High Court is sought as many relevant factors have not been taken into consideration which includes the criminal antecedents of the accused and that makes the order a deviant one. Therefore, the inevitable result is the lancination of the impugned order”.

Read the Judgment here.