Crucial Witnesses Are Yet To Be Examined: SC Sets Aside Bail Granted To Person Accused Of Murder Of Child For Ransom
A Bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice Bela M Trivedi has set aside the bail granted by the Delhi High Court to a person accused of the murder of a young child for ransom.
The Bench observed that the release of the accused, at this stage, would run a grave risk of impeding a fair trial.
The accused, who is facing trial, was arrested in 2014 and was in custody. The High Court granted bail on the basis that the charge-sheet was already filed and the custody of the accused was not required for the purpose of investigation and that there was insufficient evidence to indicate the involvement of the accused.
Aggrieved by the decision of the High Court, the parents of the deceased child moved Supreme Court. Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy appeared for the Appellants while Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave appeared for the accused. Jayant K. Sud, ASG appeared for the state.
The Supreme Court held that the High Court has, while granting bail, failed to notice crucial aspects which have a bearing on whether or not a case for the exercise of the jurisdiction to grant bail under Section 439 of CrPC was established. The Court further held that an important circumstance that crucial witnesses are yet to be examined, was not been taken into consideration by the High Court.
"The release of the second respondent on bail, at this stage, would run a grave risk of impeding a fair trial. The apprehension of the appellants and of the prosecution that the witnesses may be tampered with cannot be regarded as lacking in substance," the Bench held.
The exercise of discretion by the High Court in the present case was termed improper by the Apex Court. Accordingly, the Supreme Court set aside the bail granted by the High Court and directed the trial court to conduct the trial expeditiously, on a day to day basis and to conclude it, preferably within a period of one year.