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Liberty Is Important But Courts Must Consider Potential Threat To Witnesses, Victims While Granting Bail : Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
25 April 2021 1:52 PM GMT
Liberty Is Important But Courts Must Consider Potential Threat To Witnesses, Victims While Granting Bail : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court has reiterated that it is necessary for courts to consider the impact on the witnesses or victims in a criminal case while granting bail to an accused.Observing thus, the Supreme Court set aside an order of the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to an accused who was arrested under the U.P. Gangster and Anti-Social Activities(Prevention) Act, 1986. The accused...

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The Supreme Court has reiterated that it is necessary for courts to consider the impact on the witnesses or victims in a criminal case while granting bail to an accused.

Observing thus, the Supreme Court set aside an order of the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to an accused who was arrested under the U.P. Gangster and Anti-Social Activities(Prevention) Act, 1986. 

The accused was alleged to be a contract killer and sharp shooter. Challenging the bail granted by the High Court, the widow of the deceased approach the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court observed that the High Court has overlooked several aspects, such as the potential threat to witnesses, forcing the trial court to grant protection.

"It is needless to point out that in cases of this nature, it is important that courts do not enlarge an accused on bail with a blinkered vision by just taking into account only the parties before them and the incident in question. It is necessary for courts to consider the impact that release of such persons on bail will have on the witnesses yet to be examined and the innocent members of the family of the victim who might be the next victims", a bench headed by CJI SA Bobde(on his last working day) held.

"There is no doubt that liberty is important, even that of a person charged with crime but it is important for the courts to recognise the potential threat to the life and liberty of victims/witnesses, if such accused is released on bail", the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian observed.

The Supreme Court re-stated the considerations regarding grant of bail as follows :

(i) Whether there was a prima facie or reasonable ground to believe that the accused had committed the offence;

(ii) nature and gravity of accusations;

(iii)severity of the punishment in the event of a conviction;

(iv)danger of the accused absconding or fleeing, if granted bail;

(v)character, behaviour, means, position and standing of the accused;

(vi)likelihood of repetition of the offence;

(vii)reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced; and

(viii)danger of justice being thwarted by grant of bail

This was the last order signed by CJI SA Bobde as a judge of the Supreme Court.

Case Details

Case Title : Sudha Singh vs State of Uttar Pradesh and others

Coram : CJI SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian

Citation : LL 2021 SC 229

Click here to read/download the judgment








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