The Allahabad High Court has refused to grant bail to former MLA Vijay Mishra in a case where he allegedly took over lands forcibly, and along with his family members threatened the owner-informant to withdraw his case against him, through illegal weapons.

While denying to grant bail, Justice Sameer Jain observed, “Applicant is very influential political figure of the State of Uttar Pradesh and as many as 85 cases were lodged against him and 13 cases are still pending. From perusal of the list of the cases, it reflects that number of cases were of serious and heinous crimes and in two cases he has already convicted, therefore, possibility cannot be ruled out that after release on bail, applicant may tamper the witnesses specially when such allegation against the applicant is itself in the FIR of the present case”.

Senior Advocate G. S. Chaturvedi, appeared for the applicant, while AGA Ratnendu Kr. Singh appeared for the informant.

In the present case at hand, the applicant is a four consecutive times MLA from Giyanpur, Bhadoi. As per the allegations of the informant, while misusing his position and status, the ex-MLA took possession over the properties, and Firm of the informant. Consequently, when the informant lodged an FIR against him then the applicant and his family members allegedly started threatening him continuously, and thereafter forcibly took 19 vehicles of the informant on the point of illegal weapons. In the FIR Mishra's wife and son are also named.

The AGA for the informant, therefore, vehemently opposed the bail stating that there is a specific allegation against the MLA for misusing his position and status by forcibly taking possession over his property. It was further alleged that illegal weapons were used to threaten him, and 19 vehicles were also forcibly took under possession, out of which some were even recovered from a hot mix plant owned by the MLA.

It was further urged on behalf of the informant that:

-the applicant is a hardcore criminal and a leader of Inter District Gang;

­- that as per the criminal history of the applicant, he is not an ordinary criminal but a hardened criminal involved in heinous and serious crimes like forceful possession of the Government property, possession of AK-47 and its ammunition, cases under section 307 IPC and U.P. Gangsters Act and further detained several times under the provisions of National Security Act.

- that applicant was also accused of murder under 302 IPC but due to his influence, he could not be convicted.

-that in a number of cases, the applicant threatened the witnesses including the victim under section 376 D IPC.

AGA further pointed out that the applicant recently was also convicted in two cases of Arms Act, therefore, there is every possibility that after release on bail, he would temper the witnesses, and thereby, such hardened criminal should not be released on bail.
While the counsel for the applicant submitted that due to the political rivalry and being opposition MLA, various criminal cases were lodged against him and till today, applicant has been implicated in as many as 85 cases but out of 85 cases, only in 13 cases the applicant is facing trial, while the others have either been dropped or he has been acquitted. and in other cases applicant has already either acquitted or proceedings have been dropped by the prosecution. It was further submitted that out of 13 cases, 8 cases are after the arrest of applicant (August 14, 2020).
It was also contended that only on the basis of criminal antecedents of an accused, bail should not be refused if otherwise case of bail is made out.
The Court while placing reliance on Prahlad Singh Bhati Vs. NCT, Delhi and another, (2001) 4 SCC 280 and Prasanta Kumar Sarkar Vs. Ashis Chatterjee and another, (2010) SCC 496, noted,

“…it appears that although granting or rejecting the bail is discretionary power but discretionary power should be exercised judiciously and while granting bail to an accused the Court should not only consider the nature of evidence, gravity of allegations and severity of punishment but should also consider the character, behavior, means and standing of the accused and reasonable possibility of securing the presence of the accused at trial, reasonable apprehension of the witnesses being tampered with and the larger interest of the public and the State and further, while granting bail, Court should also consider the danger, of course, of justice being thwarted by grant of bail”.

Thus, while rejecting the bail application, the Court observed,

“...every crime committed by an individual is the crime against the society and it always affects the society at large and if such persons who have criminal antecedents of more than 80 cases would be enlarged on bail then they can again commit such offences and they may cause danger to the society and they may also create problems for the State to maintain law and order, therefore, in the interest of the public at large and State, they in general should not be released on bail”.

Cause Title: Vijay Mishra v. State of U.P.