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Object Of Bail Merely To Secure Attendance: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Law Student In Rash Driving Case

Nupur Thapliyal
6 May 2022 11:51 AM GMT
Object Of Bail Merely To Secure Attendance: Delhi High Court Grants Bail To Law Student In Rash Driving Case
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The Delhi High Court has observed that the object of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused at the trial and is not to be withheld as a punishment.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice Anoop Kumar Mendiratta added that though the possibility of evidence being tampered or the witnesses being influenced has also to be kept in perspective, however, one single circumstance, cannot be treated as a universal validity or necessarily justifying the grant of refusal of bail which is largely influenced with the nature/seriousness of offence.

The Court thus granted bail to a 19 year old law student who was languishing in jail for a period of about two months, noting that the investigation was over, his custodial interrogation was not required and the chargesheet was also filed.

"No purpose may be served by keeping the petitioner behind the bars who happens to be a second year student of law aged about 19 years and has clean past antecedents. The apprehension expressed that the witnesses may be influenced can be duly looked into by imposing adequate conditions," the Court said.

The FIR contained the offences under sec. 279 (Rash driving), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life), 307 (Attempt to murder) and 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) of Indian Penal Code, registered in connection the an incident occurred on 08.02.2022.

The FIR was registered on the statement of one Rampal Negi alleging that he had been working as a driver and while he was standing on the main road along with other drivers, an injured man came from his house and started walking on the road.

In the meanwhile, it was alleged, that he saw a yellow car coming at a very high speed and driven in zigzag manner which hit the man who fell on the bonnet of the car. However, the car did not stop and after travelling 100 meters, sudden brakes were applied on which the man fell on the road from the bonnet and the driver fled away.

The State argued that the father of the petitioner was also alleged to be seen sitting on the front passenger seat along with the petitioner when the car was later on parked and that the disclosure statement of the petitioner, was also recorded wherein he disclosed his passion to drive fast.

It was also stated that the accused used to make videos of speedometer and placed on WhatsApp status and that the injured was hit deliberately with an intention to kill and was dragged up to 100-150 meters causing grievous injuries.

"…, it may be observed that intention or knowledge is a man's state of mind and are matters of inference from the circumstances of the case. Each case has to be decided on its own facts and intention may be gathered from the nature and consequences of the act and attendant circumstances," the Court said.

The Court was of the view that in a case where negligence or rashness to cause death or injury is apparent and nothing more, sec. 337 and 338 IPC or 304-A IPC may be accordingly attracted. However, where rash and negligent act is preceded with knowledge that such act is likely to cause death or injury, sec. 304-II or 307 and 308 IPC may be attracted.

"Further if such rash and negligent act is preceded with real intention on the part of wrong doer to cause death, offence may be punishable under Section 302 IPC. As such, the presumption of intention is not a proposition of law but it needs to be ascertained whether the mind is usually able to foresee what are the natural consequences of his act," the Court said.

The Court noted that the fact that accused had been earlier driving the car though at high speeds, did indicate that he was well accustomed to drive, though not in accordance with law since the license was never obtained.

"The fact that the petitioner failed to stop the car on indication from a distance of 14-15 yards and further drove for about 100 meters with injured clung to the bonnet does not lead to a conclusive inference that injured was hit with an intention to kill. At this stage, the matter only needs to be prima facie seen for granting or declining of bail and whether an offence under Sections 307/308 IPC is made out is best to be left to be decided by the ld. Trial Court at the appropriate stage of consideration of framing of charge," it said further.

The Court said that the rights of the victim in such circumstances need to be kept in perspective, as and when any orders are passed on bail and adequate conditions can be imposed to provide some relief to the victims and secure their interest at the stage of bail itself.

It said that the right of a victim does not just merely extend to file an appeal or participate in such proceedings but much more is required to be done in such cases of accident in order to safeguard the rights of compensation of the victim, who at times is left at mercy of God, even to manage the medical expenses, at his or her end.

"The High Court or Sessions Courts at the stage of bail, in such cases, u/s 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure may impose appropriate conditions as may be necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case," the Court said.

Accordingly, bail was granted to the petitioner.

Case Title: K RAJAPANDIAN v. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 415

Click Here To Read Order


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