Gravity of Offence Not Considered While Granting Bail - SC Directs For Surrender Of Accused Involved In Double Murder
A two-judge Bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna quashed and set aside the order of the Patna High Court which released the accused on bail without considering the gravity, nature, and seriousness of the offences alleged.
The Respondent was accused of offences under Sections 147, 148, 149, 341, 323, 324, 427, 504, 506, 307, and 302 IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act. The Sessions Court rejected the bail application of the accused. However, the High Court granted bail to him. The deceased's brother preferred an appeal against this order of the High Court.
Advocate Rituraj Choudhary, appearing for the Appellant submitted before the Supreme Court that the High Court has committed a grave error in granting bail to the accused in a case where one person has been killed. He also contended that the High Court has not assigned sufficient reasons while releasing the accused on bail, as laid down in a catena of judgments by the Supreme Court. He submitted that the High Court has ignored the criminal antecedents of the accused.
Advocate Atul Kumar, appearing on behalf of the accused, contended that the High Court gave its decision to grant bail after considering all the facts and that the Supreme Court cannot interfere with the same while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution.
The Apex Court noted that the High Court did not assign any reason while releasing Respondent No. 2 on bail.
The Court also observed that the High Court did not consider the gravity, nature, and seriousness of the offences alleged against the accused.
"...the High Court has erred in not considering the material relevant to the determination of whether the accused was to be enlarged on bail," the Bench opined.
Further, the Court held, "Even the High Court has also not at all considered the criminal antecedents of the respondent No.2 - accused. Though it was pointed out on behalf of the informant that the accused is involved in two cases and that the appellant (informant) was restrained from proceeding further in earlier cases pending against the accused, the High Court has simply brushed aside the same and has not considered the same at all."
...considering the fact that respondent No.2 is a history sheeter and is having a criminal antecedent and is involved in the double murder of having killed the father and brother of the informant and the trial of these cases is at the crucial stage of recording evidence and there are allegations of pressurizing the informant and the witnesses, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court releasing the respondent No.2 on bail is absolutely unsustainable and the same cannot stand, the Bench noted.
Accordingly, the Court set aside the judgment and order granting bail to the accused, passed by the High Court, and directed the accused to surrender before the concerned jail authority as the High Court did not consider the gravity, nature, and seriousness of the offences alleged.