The Rajasthan High Court observed that an unjustified or perverse order of bail can be cancelled by the Superior Court.

The Court cancelled bail orders of two individuals indicted under sections 143, 323, 341 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 3(2)(va) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act).

The Court noted two grounds for bail reconsideration: firstly, if the order lacks judicial scrutiny and is based on unreasonable grounds, and secondly, if the accused misuses bail or if new circumstances make it unjust to maintain the order.

The Bench of Justice Sudesh Bansal observed, “the cancellation of bail order can be considered by the higher Court on two aspects (i) the order granting the bail is based on untenable grounds and the bail order is apparently whimsical, capricious, passed without application of judicial mind and without considering the relevant considerations and is perverse and; (ii) after granting the bail order, the accused has misused the liberty of bail and due to some supervening circumstances, it is not justified to sustain the bail order”.

Advocate Deepak Chauhan appeared for the Petitioner and Public Prosecutor B. L. Nasuna appeared for the State.

Three Applications were filed before the High Court related to one FIR filed under sections 143, 323, 341 and 302 of the IPC and Section 3(2)(va) of the SC/ST Act. Accused Sunderlal approached the High Court seeking bail whereas Complainant Ankit Meena filed applications to cancel bail for Lalaram Meena and Ramlal.

Complainant Ankit Meena had filed the FIR, alleging an attack on him and the deceased Yadram involving Lalaram Meena, Sunderlal, Ramlal, and others using vehicles and weapons. Yadram died on the spot, and the accused fled. The High Court granted bail to Ravi Meena, Rajesh Kumar, and Tinku Meena, who were not named in the FIR. Also, the Sessions Judge granted bail to Lalaram Meena and Ramlal, citing similarities with the co-accused released by the High Court.

After considering the arguments presented by both parties for the bail application of Sunderlal, the Court noted that the key prosecution witnesses have not been examined yet. Citing the gravity of the offences and the severity of potential punishment, the Court rejected the bail application but allowed the Petitioner the opportunity to file a fresh bail application.

Regarding the grant of bail by the Sessions Judge, the Court noted that the said Judge overlooked the distinct nature of allegations against Ramlal and Lalaram Meena. The High Court, in granting bail to the three co-accused, had rightly noted the absence of their names in the FIR and the specific accusations against Lalaram Meena, Sunderlal @ Chimpa, and Ramlal.

Therefore, the Court noted that the Sessions Judge erred in concluding that the cases of Ramlal and Lalaram Meena are indistinguishable from those of the other three accused. This reveals a lack of consideration and legal application, making the principle of parity inapplicable.

The Bench observed that if a Sessions Judge issues a bail order without proper consideration, and the reasoning behind the order appears to be contrary to the record, unjustified, illegal, and perverse, the higher court should not uphold such a bail order.

Furthermore, the Bench noted that the legal principle dictates that the cancellation of a bail order can be contemplated by the higher court based on two grounds: (i) if the bail order is founded on untenable grounds, appears whimsical, capricious, lacks judicial application, and disregards relevant considerations; (ii) if, after the grant of bail, the accused misuses their liberty, or if supervening circumstances arise that render it unjustified to maintain the bail order.

Consequently, the Court held that the bail orders were passed on a flawed premise, exhibiting a lack of judicial scrutiny and perversity, rendering them unsustainable. Furthermore, the Bench observed that Ramlal and Lalaram, after being granted bail, allegedly misused their liberty by threatening the complainant against testifying. A subsequent complaint led to proceedings under Sections 107 & 116 (3) Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC), where summons were issued to Ramlal and Lalaram to maintain peace. The Bench held that that the bail orders were unjustified, illegal, and perverse.

The Court, therefore, directed accused persons Ramlal and Lalaram Meena to surrender before the Trial Court by January 10, 2024.

Accordingly, the Court rejected the Bail Application of Sunderlal and allowed the Bail Cancellation Applications filed by Ankit Meena against Ramlal and Lalaram.

Cause Title: Sunderlal v State of Rajasthan (2023:RJ-JP:39167)

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