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Court Deciding Bail Application Cannot Completely Divorce Its Decision From Material Aspects Of The Case: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
11 March 2022 3:51 PM GMT
Court Deciding Bail Application Cannot Completely Divorce Its Decision From Material Aspects Of The Case: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reiterated that a Court deciding a bail application cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case.The material aspects includes the following: (1) allegations made against the accused; (2) severity of the punishment if the allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt which would result in a conviction;...

The Supreme Court reiterated that a Court deciding a bail application cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case.

The material aspects includes the following:

(1) allegations made against the accused;

(2) severity of the punishment if the allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt which would result in a conviction;

(3) reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being influenced by the accused;

(4) tampering of the evidence;

(5) the frivolity in the case of the prosecution;

(6) criminal antecedents of the accused; and

(7) a prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge against the accused.

The bench comprising Justices MR shah and BV Nagarathna observed thus while setting aside the bail granted by the High Court to some murder accused. The wife of the deceased had approached the Apex Court challenging the bail granted to accused by the Rajasthan High Court. She submitted that the High Court has not assigned reasons for the grant of bail and has granted bail by a cryptic order de hors any reasoning,

Perusing the order, the bench agreed with the appellant that it is a very cryptic and casual order, de hors cogent reasoning.  An order granting bail in a mechanical manner, without recording reasons, would suffer from the vice of non­ application of mind, rendering it illegal, the court noted.

While setting aside the bail order, the bench observed thus:

While we are conscious of the fact that a Court considering the grant of bail must not engage in an elaborate discussion on the merits of the case, we are of the view that the High Court while passing the impugned orders has not taken into account even a single material aspect of the case ..

...The primary considerations which must be placed at balance while deciding the grant of bail are: (i) the seriousness of the offence; (ii) the likelihood of the accused fleeing from justice; (iii) the impact of release of the accused on the prosecution witnesses; (iv) likelihood of the accused tampering with evidence. While such list is not exhaustive, it may be stated that if a Court takes into account such factors in deciding a bail application, it could be concluded that the decision has resulted from a judicious exercise of its discretion.

Headnotes

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 : Section 439 - Bail - The Court deciding a bail application cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case such as the allegations made against the accused; severity of the punishment if the allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt which would result in a conviction; reasonable  apprehension of the witnesses being influenced by the accused; tampering of the evidence; the frivolity in the case of the prosecution; criminal antecedents of the accused; and a prima facie satisfaction of the Court in support of the charge against the accused. (Para 26)

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 : Section 439 - Bail - It is not necessary for a Court to give elaborate reasons while granting bail, particularly when the case is at the initial stage and the allegations of the offences by the accused would not have been crystalised as such. There cannot be elaborate details recorded to give an impression that the case is one that would result in a conviction or, by contrast, in an acquittal while passing an order on an application for grant of bail. (Para 26)

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 : Section 439 - Bail - When bail has been granted to an accused, the State may, if new circumstances have arisen following the grant of such bail, approach the High Court seeking cancellation of bail under section 439 (2) of the CrPC. However, if no new circumstances have arisen since the grant of bail, the State may prefer an appeal against the order granting bail, on the ground that the same is perverse or illegal or has been arrived at by ignoring material aspects which establish a prima ­facie case against the accused. (Para 29)

Constitution of India, 1950 : Article 136 - An order granting bail to an accused, if passed in a casual and cryptic manner, de hors reasoning which would validate the grant of bail, is liable to be set aside by this  Court while exercising jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of India. [Referred to Manoj Kumar Khokhar v. State of Rajasthan  2022 LiveLaw (SC) 55]

Legal maxim - Cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex - Reason is the soul of the law, and when the reason of any particular law ceases, so does the law itself. (Para 25)

Appeal against Bail granted by the High Court in a murder case - Allowed - The High Court has granted bail to the ­accused by passing a very cryptic and casual order, de hors cogent reasoning. We find that the High Court was not right in allowing the applications for bail filed by the  accused.

Case details

Kamla Devi vs State of Rajasthan | CrA 342 OF 2022 | 11 March 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 272

Coram: Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna

Counsel: Adv H.D. Thanvi for appellant, Adv Mehul M. Gupta for respondent


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