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Bail Can't Be Refused On Ground That It Will Encourage Vigilantism Or Send Wrong Message To Society : Kerala High Court[Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
10 Nov 2020 2:52 PM GMT
Bail Cant Be Refused On Ground That It Will Encourage Vigilantism Or Send Wrong Message To Society : Kerala High Court[Read Judgment]
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While granting bail to three women who were accused of assaulting a YouTuber over a vulgar video, the Kerala High Court said it does not approve of vigilantism shown by them.The fact that granting bail to the applicants would give a wrong message to the public at large and that it would amount to an encouragement of vigilantism is no reason to refuse granting of bail, Justice Ashok Menon...

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While granting bail to three women who were accused of assaulting a YouTuber over a vulgar video, the Kerala High Court said it does not approve of vigilantism shown by them.

The fact that granting bail to the applicants would give a wrong message to the public at large and that it would amount to an encouragement of vigilantism is no reason to refuse granting of bail, Justice Ashok Menon observed in the bail order. The judge observed that granting of bail is based on totally different parameters.

Agreeing with the contention raised by Advocate Arjun Venugopal, on behalf of Vijay P. Nair, the court observed that vigilantism has no place in a civilized society.

"If people are permitted to take law into their hands and do what they believe to be right and justified, there will be a chaotic situation and would have the effect of undermining the legal and formal institutions of the state and altering the constitutional order. Such extrajudicial acts under the guise of protection of law definitely requires to be kept under check, otherwise it would lead to rise of anarchy, lawlessness and mobocracy. I am in total agreement with the learned counsel for the de facto complainant on this aspect."

The court, however, added that they cannot be denied bail merely for the reason that granting them bail would give the wrong message to the public or that it would amount to encouragement of vigilantism or taking law into one's own hands.

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Rejecting an application for anticipatory bail by the Sessions Court is definitely not binding on the High Court

The court also rejected the contention raised on behalf of the defacto complainant that once the Sessions Court has dismissed the application for anticipatory bail, this Court cannot entertain an application unless there are change in circumstances, is not acceptable. The court said:

"The order of rejecting an application for anticipatory bail by the Sessions Court is definitely not binding on the High Court but vice a versa may be true. In case an application under Section 438 Cr.P.C filed by the applicant before the High Court is rejected, there is no embargo on the applicant approaching the Apex Court for a favourable order."

While granting bail, the court further observed: 

Though I do not approve of vigilantism shown by the applicants in taking law into their hands, I also do not feel it necessary to incarcerate them just for the purpose of giving them a taste of imprisonment as a lesson. The gravity of the offence and the possibility of the applicants fleeing from justice are very important criteria for the granting of anticipatory bail. The applicants are ladies without any criminal antecedents. The fact that the applicants had, soon after the incident appeared before the Police and surrendered the articles which they had allegedly robbed is an indication to the fact that they're willing to co-operate with the investigation and are not likely to flee from justice.
CASE: BHAGYALAKSHMI K. vs. STATE OF KERALA [ Bail Appl..No.6686 OF 2020] 
CORAM: Justice Ashok Menon
COUNSEL: .Adv S.Renjith, Adv K. Arjun Venugopal, Sr. PP Suman Chakravarthy 

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