Bail Order Need Not Be Lengthy, But Reasons Must Be Discernible: Apex Court Grants Bail And Directs High Court CJ To Communicate Order To The Judge
The Supreme Court, yesterday, while dealing with a Special Leave Petition lamented the approach of a High Court Judge for passing a non-reasoned order in an anticipatory bail application and reiterated that such non-reasoned orders fail the test of judicial scrutiny when challenged.
The Bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Sanjay Karol in its order stated, "Before parting, it must be observed that the High Court order (dated 19.05.2023) contains no reason and this in our opinion should not be the form of a bail rejection order. A lengthy order is not needed but reasons for the decision must be discernible even though the Court’s order is concise. Otherwise, the concerned order will fail the test of judicial scrutiny if the same is challenged."
Continuing, the Bench directed to communicate the copy of this order to the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court for intimation to the Judge who had passed the impugned order.
The impugned order of the High Court stated, "This is an application under Section 438 of the CrPC praying for pre-arrest bail in respect of Sivasagar P.S. case No.63/2023 under Sections 447/ 384/ 352/ 426/ 270/ 295(A)/505(2)/34 of the Indian Penal Code. After hearing the learned counsels of both sides, the application for bail is dismissed".
Senior Advocate Arunabh Chaudhary along with Advocate-on-Record Karma Dorjee appeared for the Petitioner while Advocate-on-Record Debojit Borkakati appeared for the State of Assam.
The Apex Court had previously stayed the petitioner's arrest. The Court noted in its order that there are no allegations of trespass or extortion against the petitioner, no overt acts are attributed to the petitioner and the petitioner is not named in the complaint. Consequently, the Court made permanent its interim order.
Last year, a two-judge Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna quashed an order passed by the Allahabad High Court, holding that the High Court must pass a speaking and reasoned order while exercising its powers under Section 482 CrPC. Similarly, the Delhi High Court emphasized that rationale is the essence of justice. The Court had stated that any order issued, whether under judicial authority or administrative powers vested in an authority, must provide clear reasoning.
Cause Title: Nituparna Gogoi v. The State Of Assam [Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No(s). 7904/2023]