The Supreme Court on Friday observed that to call for an explanation from the trial judge by the High Court for having granted bail may seriously affect the independence of the district judiciary in considering applications for bail in appropriate cases.

There was, prima facie, no justification for the High Court to call for an explanation from the trial judge for having granted bail,” said a Bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala.

In the present case, the High Court, while setting aside the order of the trial court granting bail, directed the issuance of a notice to the trial court seeking an explanation in regard to the order granting bail.

The Single Judge of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh has cancelled the bail which was granted by the trial court to the petitioner. The accused was charge-sheeted under alleged offences punishable under Sections 294, 323, 342, 354 and 506 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code 1860.

Though the application for bail was rejected earlier, the trial court granted bail noting that "the offence is not punishable with life imprisonment or death; and the other accused have been granted bail".

The High Court noted that after dismissing the application, though it was dismissed as withdrawn, the trial court did not have any jurisdiction to entertain the application for granting bail and consider the same, but trial court has considered the application and granted bail.

The High Court therefore issued show-cause notice to the concerning Judge to seek explanation as to under what circumstances he has granted bail when it has already been dismissed by the High Court.

Advocate Suyash Mohan Guru appeared for the Petitioner.

After seeking explanation from the concerning Judge, the file be placed before this Court so as to see whether explanation is satisfactory or not or to place the matter before Hon'ble the Chief Justice for appropriate disciplinary action against the concerning Judge,” said the High Court.

The direction of the High Court calling for an explanation from the trial Judge shall remain stayed,” ordered the Supreme Court.

Further, it directed release of the petitioner on bail, subject to such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the trial court.

Cause Title- Totaram v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr.

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