19 Oct 2022 8:00 AM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently ruled that merely because a number of FIRs stand registered against a person he cannot be denied concession of bail, particularly, when his involvement in commission of a non-bailable offence is not prima facie shown from the contents of the FIR. The observations were made by Justice Sanjay Dhar while hearing an application ...
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court recently ruled that merely because a number of FIRs stand registered against a person he cannot be denied concession of bail, particularly, when his involvement in commission of a non-bailable offence is not prima facie shown from the contents of the FIR.
The observations were made by Justice Sanjay Dhar while hearing an application moved by the petitioner/accused, whereby he had sought bail in a case arising out of FIR for offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 379, 504, 506 IPC registered with Police Station, Gangyal, Jammu.
In his plea, the Petitioner contended that he has not committed any offence and that the dispute between the petitioner and the complainant is purely of civil nature relating to demarcation of the land.
Contesting his plea, the Respondents contended that the petitioner is a habitual offender, inasmuch as, 22 FIRs stand registered against him. Respondents further argued that the petitioner has been booked under the Public Safety Act and has been kept in preventive detention because of his criminal background. It was also averred that the investigation in the matter is still in progress and, as such, the concession of bail cannot be given to the petitioner at this stage.
Deciding the contentions raised by the parties, Justice Dhar observed that the overriding considerations in granting bail as laid down in Section 437 (1) and Section 439(1) of Cr.P.C, are the nature and gravity of the offence, the frivolity or otherwise of the prosecution case, the position and status of the accused with reference to the victim and the witnesses, the likelihood of accused fleeing from justice, the chances of repeating of offence by the accused, the chances of tampering with the witnesses, the stage of investigation and the public interest.
Deliberating further on the matter, the bench observed that while nature of offence and severity of punishment is an important consideration while considering the bail plea of an accused, a prima facie view of involvement of the accused in the alleged crime is a factor which is also required to be considered.
"It would be premature for this Court to deeply analyze the allegations made in the FIR lest it may prejudice the case of the prosecution. However, there appears prima facie merit in the submission made by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the dispute between the petitioner and the complainant appears to be essentially relating to demarcation of the land or at best a case of criminal trespass", the bench noted.
Dealing with the contention of the respondents that the petitioner is a history-sheeter, inasmuch as 22 FIRs stand registered against him and, as such, he does not deserve the concession of bail, the bench observed that it is true that the petitioner has been involved in a number of FIRs but he has placed on record copies of the orders passed by the Courts in at least six cases in which the petitioner has not even been put to trial but has been discharged at the stage of framing of charges itself, which supports the contention of Counsel for the petitioner that most of these cases are vexatious in nature.
The respondent has not placed on record anything to show that the petitioner has been convicted in any of these FIRs and therefore, merely because a number of FIRs stand registered against the petitioner, he cannot be denied concession of bail, the court added.
For the foregoing reasons, the bench allowed the petition and admitted the petitioner to bail on conditions.
Case Title : Ravinder Gupta Vs UT of J&K
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (JKL) 187
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment