31 Aug 2023 7:19 AM GMT
In a recent order, the Supreme Court expressed surprise at an order passed by the Gujarat High Court granting bail to an accused in a murder case on the basis of a 'settlement' between him and the the original complainant(son of the deceased victim).The Court raised questions about the appropriateness of allowing personal settlements in serious criminal cases of such magnitude and...
In a recent order, the Supreme Court expressed surprise at an order passed by the Gujarat High Court granting bail to an accused in a murder case on the basis of a 'settlement' between him and the the original complainant(son of the deceased victim).
The Court raised questions about the appropriateness of allowing personal settlements in serious criminal cases of such magnitude and the implications of granting bail based on an individual's lack of prior convictions for serious offenses.
The Court observed, “Strangely enough one of the considerations that has weighed with the learned Single Judge includes the fact that the respondent No. 2 has filed a settlement arrived at with the original complainant and the affidavit of the original complainant confirmed the said settlement, that too in respect of an offence under Section 302 of the IPC.
Another consideration that has been taken into consideration by the High Court is the fact that there were no adverse antecedents of the respondent No.2. To top it all, learned Additional Public Prosecutor made a submission before the High Court that the State was unable to bring on record any special circumstances against the respondent No.2”
The Supreme Court also criticised the State of Gujarat for not challenging the bail order.
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The bench comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Justice Rajesh Bindal was hearing an appeal filed by a person who sustained injuries in the crime. The crime took place on September 17, 2021, when the accused attacked one Parvinbhai and the appellant. Parvinbhai later succumbed to the injuries.
The Supreme Court noted that even while on bail, the respondent was arrested again in connection with another FIR. Taking these circumstances into account, the Supreme Court expressed a firm stance that the respondent was not entitled to any relief in this particular case. The Court pointed out that the respondent had spent merely six months in custody (from 23rd September 2021 to 18th February 2022) before being released on bail for a severe offense under Section 302 of the IPC. The Court also considered the respondent's antecedents, which indicated a propensity towards criminal behavior.
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The Court quashed the impugned order and directed the respondent to surrender promptly before the trial court.
Criticising the State of Gujarat for not challenging the bail, the Supreme Court directed that the copy of the order be forwarded to the Home Secretary of the State.
"To our mind, this was a fit case where the respondent No.1 – State ought to have approached this Court against the order of bail granted by the High Court in favour of the respondent No.2 but surprisingly, no steps were taken. A copy of this order shall be forwarded by learned counsel for the respondent No. 1-State to the Secretary (Home), Government of Gujarat for his perusal and appropriate action"
Case title: Bharwad Sanotshbhai Sondabhai v. State of GujaratCitation: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.2495 OF 2023
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 728
Click Here To Read/Download Order